Ummar Jamalwas passionate about poetry since his childhood and would initially write in Kashmiri; but since 2019 he switched to English as it gave him wider audience.
Hailing from Quilmuqam village of North Kashmir's Bandipora district, 22 year old poet is presently pursuing B.A.LL.B at University of Kashmir. Besides, he is a also a columnist, and a TV debater. He has published about two dozens poems and is contributor columns to several newspapers and magazines.
"I remember when I wrote my first poem in English tiled 'modern day friends', i sent it to Rising Kashmir newspaper for publication. I didn’t think they would publish it because of limited space. But when I bought the newspaper next day I saw my poem had got published. This boosted my confidence in my poetic flair. Since then I never stopped writing", he said.
Ummar saidhis father has a firm command on Kashmiri poetry and it is because of him that he learned poetry. "I think it is because of my father that I initially started writing in Kashmiri. My father would encourage me to read Kalam Sheikh ul Alam (RA) when i was a child", ummar said.
On being asked about which poet influenced him most he said that though he have chosen English as his medium of expression, but Dr. Sir Mohammad Iqbal (Alama Iqbal) has influenced him the most.
"His poetry emphasize on self-realization and self-knowledge. His philosophy of Khudi has inspired me a lot. Apart from him I like to read William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth and Sheik ul Alam (RA) and others", he added.
Ummar said he would find poetry a medium to articulate his ideas and express his experiences. "I Believe a poet must be conscious and reactive. When I see something wrong happening around me, I get intrinsically tempted to write on it. I write on different social issues ranging from drug addiction to smartphone addition. Besides that I write about the ultimate reality of death, solidarity and pain", he said.
Being a poet in Kashmir,Ummar said, it means invitation to mixed response; some people would appreciate it, some would take you for granted, while as some would make you butt of their satire. "I believe poetry is a tool to bring about a change in society. Poets should be appreciated", he added.
Ummar said challenges are inexorable in every work and he too have faced challenges as a poet. "Initially when I used to write poems I would conceal them rather than showing them to others. But as time passed and my poems got published in newspapers and magazines, my family and friends became aware that I do poetry."
He said he has intention of publishing all his poems in form of a book in future. "I have written many poems and many are yet to be written in order to publish them in form of a book", he added.