Interview by The Pakistani Spectator

My interview has been published by The Pakistani Spectator, who are doing a series of interviews of notable bloggers from Pakistani blogosphere.
You can see it at: http://www.pakspectator.com/interview-with-blogger-awais-aftab/
Any comments are most welcome. And my gratitude to The Pakistani Spectator.

Interview with Blogger Awais Aftab
By The Pakistani Spectator

Please also send us a brief bio of yourself, and your blog url.

I am Awais Aftab, a medical student in King Edward Medical University, and in the 20 years that i have spent in this world i have mainly occupied myself with issues of love, literature and philosophy, creating my own moral values while antagonizing many prevalent in our society. That’s me.

The url of my blog is http://awaisaftab.blogspot.com/

Could you tell us what made you decide to blog, and what was the inspiration behind it?

Since adolescence I have always had things to say, ideas i wanted to share, opinions i wanted to express, and i had ambitions of influencing other people. You can say that i had this arrogant subconscious belief that the world has something to gain from my insights. Lolz. One day i suddenly realized what was missing in my life: a blog! And so i made one. But it took a long time to get it started and to find regular readers. But once the flow started, the blog became an addiction, or as one of my readers said, it became my ‘baby’.

What do you think sets Your blog apart from other blogs?

I don’t think there is any such distinctive thing about it apart from the particular set of thoughts and tastes that i possess and that i express on the blog. My blog is about the particular way i see life, and everything from my own personal thoughts to the literary extracts i post reveals that.

Do you feel that you continue to grow in your writing the longer you write? Why is that important to you?

Yes, i do feel that, and its a good thing, to evolve, and to grow. I can see my progress through the posts of my blog.

What do you do in order to keep up your communication with other bloggers?

I have subscribed to around a dozen blogs that i regularly visit, and when i read a post that i like, i comment on it. That’s my primary way of communication.

If you could choose one characteristic you have that brought you success in life, what would it be?

I think i’d choose steadfastness. Don’t give up, keep doing your work, have faith in yourself and eventually you’ll get the desired results.

What was the happiest and gloomiest moment of your life?

I have been the happiest in love and i have also been the gloomiest in love.

Urdu Blogs have got huge potential, when do you think they will really take on the online horizon in Pakistan?

I believe that despite their great value, the potential of Urdu blogs nevertheless remains limited as compared to English ones. First, not everyone is not adept at writing in Urdu font on net, and then only readers from or related to Pakistan would be able to understand it. If you use Roman script, a lot of people aren’t very comfortable with reading Roman script, myself included. I find it too much energy consuming. So, i think the potential is pretty limited. The Urdu blogs about poetry and ghazals happen to be the most popular among Urdu blogs, and they can offer something which an English blog surely can’t.

If you could pick a travel destination, anywhere in the world, with no worries about how it’s paid for - what would your top 3 choices be?

Paris, Athens, Vienna

What is your favorite book and why?

I find such a question almost impossible to answer. Maybe i can answer it in a rather fragmented way. Among my favourite novels, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children comes somewhere near the top. It made quite an impression on my mind when i read it. In non-fiction, Bertrand Russell’s Marriage and Morals and Albert Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus rank quite high.

What is your favorite meal, dress, and sport?

Meal… umm, daal chawal almost always works. :)
Dress and sport, don’t have any favourites.

What’s the first thing you notice about a person (whether you know them or not)?

Behaviour… arrogant, humble, friendly?

Whose Future is more bright in Pakistan; English blogs or Urdu Blogs?

English blogs, i have little doubt abt that.

How Pakistani bloggers can benefit from blogs financially?

At this stage, i don’t think Pakistani bloggers can earn much from blogs. Maybe a rare one or two can earn significant amount, but the rest can only fantasize.

Do you think Pakistani bloggers tend to remain somewhat self-centered and really don’t go out of their shells? Is it the oriental style of blogging, or they are still unsure about it?

Most personal blogs happen to be very self-centered… a blog is a very good way of releasing your trapped narcissitic energy! I wouldn’t put the blame on the Oriental style, but rather on the very nature of blogging.

Is it true that who has a successful blog has an awful lot of time on their hands?

Not an awful lot of time, but a certain amount of time is required. A blog demands time, attention and energy, and if you can’t give it, it probably wouldn’t get successful.

What do you think where the Pakistani blogosphere is right now?

Its growing and evolving exponentially. Everyday another Pakistani internet user discovers a bloggist inside of him. The trend is picking up.

Who are your top five favourite bloggers in Pakistan?

I’ll just mention one… the blog 'Writing for Life' [http://raajii.blogspot.com] by Raajii, a blog that i have read and admired since i started writing on blogspot.

Have you ever become stunned by the uniqueness of any blogger in Pakistani blogosphere?

Stunned? No, i don’t think so.
One blog did stun me, but it was not from Pakistani blogosphere. It was an art blog, ‘Travelling with the Ghost’ [http://travelinghost.blogspot.com/], i was really stunned by its selection of Art.

What is the future of blogging in Pakistan?

Its great. Its really great. The youth are finding a voice of their own, a way of sharing their life, and the future is pregnant with all sorts of potentials. Lets just wait and see.

You have also got a blogging life, how has it directly affected both your personal and professional life?

The affect on my personal life has been remarkable. The blog has made me more bold about the expression of my views and beliefs, so that now i don’t hide myself but rather expect people to respect me for my views. Many times people don’t do that, but the blog has simultaneously given me the confidence to be somewhat indifferent to that. People read my blog, and derive all sorts of things about me that are not true. Some people visit my blog just to spy on my personal life, to discover something that would be the subject of gossips. But then, there are others who read my blog and feel delighted in finding someone who thinks like them, and so my blog also acts a magnet to attract like-minded people, many of whom have become my great friends.The influence on my professional life has been insignificant.

What are your future plans?

About the blog? Haven’t really thought about it in the long-term, but i’ll make the necessary changes as the blogs grows with time. About my personal life, i plan to complete MBBS, go abroad, get settled with the person i love, and try to make a name in literature and philosophy. But i guess it sounds more like a dream than a plan. :)

Any Message you want to give to the readers of The Pakistani Spectator?

Umm… A good life is one that is inspired by love and guided by reason. Live your own life, and don’t enforce your own moralities on other people.

Comments

thank you for considering my blog worthy of mentioning... i appreciate your consideration!

makes me smile! :-)