Speaking of challenges and mountains, we began our interview based assignments with an introspection. We had to interview ourselves. I think it was an important assignment and also much needed.
An interview by Umama R.A. of Umama Momin
14th October 2020
It’s a crisp, October morning, and Umama Momin is sitting on the diwan in her home’s living room. “My mornings are incomplete without this cup of tea,” she says, gesturing to the cup in her hand. Apart from her cup of tea, her drive to keep herself mentally fit keeps her going. She prioritises mental health the most, because, according to her, if a person is not mentally healthy, how will they go about living at all? Upon being asked how she deals with her mental health issues, she chuckles, “I don’t know, I mean, I give myself time. I really think about what is wrong with me, and be patient with myself, and I guess that is the most important thing, you know? Being patient, and understanding your own mind.” She also writes, when everything else fails. Writing is the way she escapes and lets her thoughts run free. While talking about her writing, I asked what was her favourite colour? All the dark colours, she responded. Why do you write about the green colour so much in your poems then? I asked.
There are things we need to let go of, and for some people, it happens through writing. Letting go. For Umama too, she let go of things through her writing, even her love for the colour green. She doesn’t love it anymore, but she used to, so she often writes about it, in hopes of ridding herself of it. Moving on from mental health and writing, the conversation easily shifts to her aspirations and interests. She really believes in herself, she says, and hopes that her belief will take her to the places she has planned for her 30-year-old self. She wasn’t always like this, she continues, it took time, but she finally started to like her own company more than others around her, and soon, solitude became the most precious thing for her.
When asked, why she decided to venture into the industry of media, a place of communication, especially with her love for solitude, she says, for the voiceless. I do have my voice but not everyone is born into that privilege, she elaborates further by saying that, by voiceless she does not mean just people who are marginalised, but also the truly voiceless, the animals, the nature, the oceans.
According to her, they need a voice too, and she hopes one day she can be that voice. After explaining to me, why she chose media as her career, she smiles and says that she is still undecided as to which aspect of media she wants to work in, perhaps something related to sports because of how disciplined they are, but she does not want to give up writing irrespective of what she picks, she adds in the end. Sighing to herself, she looks at her empty cup, and gets up for a refill, and offers me one too. I shake my head at her request, and instead, take her leave.