The second admin, Fayesal Siddiqui, has been the rock of this place. Every time things looked bleak, he held on. Every time, we had no will to go on, he egged us on. We’ve never known this man to give up. Ever. And that’s why, for me (Sameen), he is not only a friend who is a brother, but also my very own Samwise Gamgee. Watch out people, he’s got the resilience uncommon in people. This, is our last interview folks. Over to Siddiqui.

Special thanks to members who collated these questions.

Siddiqui
Siddiqui

Admin Bio: First thing y’all will notice is his love for his family name/surname. He prefers being called Siddiqui to Fayesal, although he obviously answers to both. He says, and I quote, “I’m the sort of guy who would wait till people make plans, and I will follow. I know I’m not the dynamic, fire cracker of a leader; I am not meant to be. I will be the foundation, rather than the building blocks themselves. I’m far too lazy for my own good. I love planning and hate executing. I love solitude more than I like company. I have surprised my near and dear ones by going for outings all alone for days on ends. I prefer a solitary walk in a crowded street as compared to a walk in the woods with a group of friends. But, this doesn’t mean I don’t like my friends. I have very few of them, the real good ones. They are the ones who would always accept, and that is that I care about.”

Siddiqui, believes that he can’t control his life, but he sure can tweak it. His long term plan is to do an MA in Literature, learn 3 languages (at least), become a writer and finally top it all up by being a teacher.

How did it (Bookhad) begin?
It’s very sad that I don’t remember the exact date when it happened but I think it was somewhere in the month of September 2010 as that is when we read our first book together. I was in the bathroom getting ready for my bath and the phone beeps. It says “Sameen” and I was wondering if I should wait till after my bath to call her back or just have a word with her. I chose the latter and it wasn’t just a word that we had. Bookhad was born in Sameen’s head and it was something that I was waiting for perhaps. I am not the guy who is capable of making grand plans but I will stick to them if I believe in it. Bookhad was borne, and along with it, so was my journey that has given me much pride.

You live in a world where everything is the same, but there is no Lord of the Rings (calm down, just an assumption). In such a case, which book (or series) do you think will take its place in your heart? Why?
Woah! (Never say this again!) Frankly speaking, I haven’t read another series that has touched me the same way. No, I love Harry Potter no doubt, but it’s not the same. So I would dig back to the age of classic literature and pick out writers like Charles Dickens, Emily Bronte, William Faulkner and the likes to fill the vacuum.

If you ever had the chance to drastically alter the ending of a book, which one would you choose and in what way would you change it? (We want your ending of Wuthering Heights too!)
Hmmm… Firstly, I would NEVER want to change how Wuthering Heights ended. Never. About the other part, there is a book, “The Dark Crusader” by Alistair Maclean (You thought you could have an interview without me mentioning him? Ha!) where I remember being sad and depressed for a long time after I finished it. I was 15 and very emotional. I would rather end it with a Bollywood ending.

What are you reading right now?
Baramullah Bomber by Clark Prasad. The author sent his book for a review and we said yes!

Who or what according to you is:

The best book you read this year:
The Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh.
The worst book you read this year:
The Book of Revelation by Rupert Thomson.
A book that surprised you:
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.
An author you would recommend:
Amitav Ghosh. He is up there!
A book you want to be in:
Pick any Maclean’s work, and I’ll tell you even which character I would love to play!
Favorite Bookhad member:
Ok, now this is unfair! I like all of them. I’m going to pick one for purely selfish reasons. Asim Mahmood. The reason for this is the fact that I saw him wading through the protocol in which I completely believe in. He picked up Harry Potter first and then graduated to the heights where he now quotes from Dostoyevsky! I would like to believe that I played an important role of the reader’s growth within him. Of course, there is added merit attached to him because he came up with the name “Bookhad”!

What should we expect in Bookhad for the year 2014? Any surprises planned?
Bookhad’s main characteristic is its spontaneity. We will have surprises and book reviews in abundance. We are going great, by the way. You should check our blog regularly!

What’s your booklist for 2014?
Ghosh, Dickens, Achebe, Coetzee, Faulkner, Shakespeare, Indian debut writers, Chomsky…

Have you ever tried a book on any ideology? Describe one such book.
I remember picking up a book around 3 years back about Democracy. It was an anthology of essays which trashed the very concept. They spoke of Plutocracy and Eugenics with pride. I really don’t remember the book’s name but I have certain extracts copied from on my writing desk. I still remember the librarian’s shock when he checked his database. It hadn’t been borrowed from the 1980s.

Like in the book Inkheart, if you had a chance to bring to life one character from a book, who would it be and why?
I haven’t read Inkheart but if it was about bringing to life a character I would pick Sydney Carton from A Tale of Two Cities or Samwise Gamgee from Lord of the Rings.

In a post apocalyptic world, which book is so badass that it is the only one to survive?
George Orwell’s 1984. Without a doubt.

Give one word/phrase for:

  • Shakespeare: Romantic
  • Conspiracy theorists: To be taken seriously for the “potentiality” aspect of ANY theory!
  • Fan-fiction: Childish
  • Harry Potter: Growing up
  • Erotic Fiction: Not interested at all
  • Sticky notes: Life lines
  • Non-Fiction: I should stop joking about them all the time.
  • Bookhad: The beginning

A quote to part with…
Frodo: “What a pity that Bilbo did not stab that vile creature, when he had a chance!’
Gandalf:
Pity? It was Pity that stayed his hand. Pity, and Mercy; not to strike without need. And he has been well rewarded, Frodo. Be sure that he took so little hurt from the evil, and escaped in the end, because he began his ownership of the Ring so. With Pity.
– The Lord of the Rings

***

That’s it folks! We had fun, hope you did too. 😀

Catch Siddiqui blogging on his personal blog Ho-Hum!

***

Previous Interviews:

Advertisements