An idea—a spark of inspiration that sent me on a journey of discovery—was the basis for the feature writing assignment. With each key stroke, I became increasingly aware of how crucial it was to select the appropriate viewpoint since it would affect the narrative’s overall tone and impact. I wanted to portray the subject’s tale with empathy and depth by fully immersing myself in their world, capturing their true voice. Being a Muslim woman and coming from an orthodox society, breaking regressive stereotypes was the arduous thing to do. Along with that pursuing journalism as a hijabi was my biggest concern but I followed my ambitions rather than society’s voices.
I have realised over the past few months how difficult it may be to push oneself past your comfort zone. I have pushed myself to try in a different direction so I can follow my own inclinations. Swiping away the obstacles coming under my foot like being cornered as a woman among man, considering as fragile halted women from recognising their values and voices. I started drafting poems five years ago, that is when I commenced to open the windows for myself to explore the world which I desired. Gradually, unearthing myself and my interests became a routine. During the metamorphosis, I endeavoured to travel to different alleys to choose what is best for me. That is when Multimedia Journalism joined on my journey.
“Don’t read success stories, you will get only message. Read failure stories, you will get some ideas to get success.” ~ Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. All the beginning was from here, my first book Wings of fire by Kalam. I started from nothing, and I am still finding the pieces of my puzzles.
I have realised that I have not learned to write a polished feature, yet I am still learning to write one, because practice makes it perfect. I looked for people whose lives were tightly entwined into the plot of the feature to give it life. The interviews evolved into precious moments of intimacy— trust and understanding. I discovered during those interactions that people’s stories are more than just written words; they are windows into their souls. Their victories, tribulations, and goals produced a vibrant picture that gave readers a fresh perspective on what it is to be human. Through my poems, I discovered my life and other universes as well. Yet the connection I yearned for felt void in every word. It was the interaction with people I lacked and finally I am on it.
Now, each feature I write, each interview I am involved in has evolved me to becoming a journalist in real life. I am still at the starting point waiting to run towards all my goals. I am encountering new fields in journalism and one of the things that excites me is photojournalism where a friend of mine sprouted an interest into the core of my heart. Surprisingly, I am holding on to various things which motivate me to take steps further. I saw how the piece affects the readers when I did a photo essay, and it promoted the thoughts I wanted to convey to society. Along with that I have improved my interview skills, narrative skills, and research skills. The amount of personal development I had throughout the process is guiding me to reach the top of the mountain, yet slowly.
Each feature becomes an ode to human beings.