Kommune India and The Storytellers have a modern take on the age-old tradition of sharing stories around a campfire. A brainchild of stars like Gaurav Kapoor and Mini Mathur, it is a stage for writers and speakers to share their life's anecdotes with the world.
Recently, Hussain Haidry, a veteran Storyteller, came up with a hard hitting poem Hindustani Musalmaan, that took the Indian web by storm.
Hussain Haidry’s poem voices the sentiments of an average Indian Muslim whose identity is not restricted by the fact that he/she is born in a Muslim family.
He told the Hindustan Times how overwhelmed he was with his successful poem and its reach.
"I wrote the opening lines almost a year back when I was travelling from Kolkata to Bhutan. I wrote it on a small diary and later lost the diary. But somehow, the opening lines remained with me. Recently, when Kommune approached me for a video, I wrote the poem starting it with those opening lines."
"It is about a personal journey and I had no idea so many people will identify with it. Frankly, there is nothing new in the poem. It is the question of identity that we often face. It is just a personal journey of seeking identity."
He pleads about treating Indian Muslims normally, "I belong to a middle-class family and went to a good school, did my MBA from IIM. So I have always moved around in spheres where this does not come into picture very apparently.The kind of things I read in news reports make me feel my experience is not even worth mentioning. I don’t have the right to say I have been discriminated."
Haidry says he isn't a born writer or speaker, "I am still learning how to write. I do not think I deserve to give interviews and be this famous. I am a very junior writer. I am not an expert who can speak in depth about socio-religious identities and the like. People suddenly want me to provide solutions for the religious crisis we face as a society. Academically, I am a CA who has also pursued MBA. I have nothing to do with politics. It is just a personal experience that found resonance with many people."
Watch Hussain Haidry's powerful words resonate and reach your soul as he plainly echoes what it feels like to be alienated in your own home.
Title image: Hindustantimes