Meet Rashida Vali: The Much Loved Writer From Pakistan on YourQuote

Our writer Manish Bansal interviews Rashida Vali, Ray of Hope, the girl who comes from across the border, is a fantastic Urdu writer and a lover of India. Read on to find more about her.

1. Hi Rashida. Describe yourself in 250 words.

Hi, my name is Rashida aka Ray, I am from Karachi, Pakistan, and a proud one indeed. I am a B.A in psychology. I am brought up in a very loving family, with two elder brothers and younger naughty sister (and no, no one tried to kill us either ;))

I have always struggled to be in a society, as a person who doesn’t mingle easily. I have trust issues from the beginning, and I had a small group of friends. Emotionally I am not very strong and not proud of those weak times of my life. So, to kill my time and keep myself sane I started to read and write at very young age. Books became my friends and my weird imagination, my stories and lifeline. To pursue education of my desire was not easy, because of financial issues I had; and then when I realize what I wanted, I got married and life took a 360 degree turn and everything changed for me.

I can count myself as an introvert. I have very dry humor and can say very weird things when I am nervous. Perception is my strong point I learn more about people while talking to them or just by looking and studying them. You can simply say I am very complex personality, but at the same time I am simple as well.

I don’t believe in ‘Happily Ever After’ type of love, because if it’s real then it won’t be a fantasy & people won’t buy and read it, they would be living it instead.

2. What has been the greatest personal discovery for you?

Personal discovery, hmmm… I don’t think I have found anything worth sharing yet. But I want to, as soon as I get my ridiculous amount of paperwork done (as a foreigner I am not privileged to live like normal civilians), I will go and resume my education and be what I am craving from past 7 years.

3. We know your friendly relationship with Dr Sara Jothi (who is also a writer on YQ). Can you share some of interesting tales about your friendship?

Maybe for you she is a doctor, but for me she is just Cara, My Cara ;)

Interesting tales about us, you can say our friendship is one of the interesting things altogether. We met in a writing platform, and I was her fan and as you guys know she is one of the chattiest people in this whole world and when she broke my defense, it is still a mystery for me. And that fan to friendship was amazing journey for me; she was the first person who got me, like seriously got me, my weird thoughts, imaginations, and desire, everything and somewhere I got her too. And then suddenly we both were there in thick and thin of our life journey. We don’t hesitate to kick each other’s asses if required. We try to keep each other sane and move on with anything.

4. Talking about the trust issues, can you share any bad experience with us?

I rather not say anything about it.

Manish — Okay Rashi, we will cover it in our personal interview sessions ;)

5. Tell us about your love story that bridges two borders, about your husband & marriage?

My Love story was as simple as the border I guess. *laughs*

9 years back I came to India first time to attend my cousins wedding and I met my husband (present) in that wedding, (rings bells like that, you know wedding thingy type) so we met, we became friends, I told him I like him more than a friend, he said NO. Yes, he said NO simple. *haha* And I was like okay, go to hell. *HAHA* But eventually we fell in love and then the MAHA YUDH between two countries started. My parents were against. His parents were against. Not because of any caste or religion or all those things against but just because of the India-Pakistan tension. At that time, social media was not there, damn even if you had a mobile phone you were very rich person. So we had this long distance relationship going on, in which we had just TRUST as our hope. We had to trust each other, because it was the only link which can keep our relationship and it was not easy to travel between two countries. From the beginning, we kept our secrets and desires upfront with each other. We used to talk via SMS and that also consisted of 15 SMS’s only, not more than that because SMS and call rates were so high that we could not afford them, and I was not allowed to talk to him at all, so my college friend Rabiea helped me a lot. As soon as I’d enter my college premises, she had her phone in her hands and used to tell me “dono ke dono pagal aur mujhe bhi pagal bana rahe hain”, sometimes “mujhe lagta hai tu meri dost sirf mere phone ke lie hi hai” and many more memories we have of those times. And did I mention mobile phones were prohibited in college premises in those days?

And when our parents saw that they could not change our minds, they broke one more ice on us. The biggest and most important question for every groom is what do you do? Our parents asked my husband the same thing, so did my father-in-law. He was like if you want to marry that girl (Me) do something, be something. (and if people who is familiar with Mumbai residential issues they will know people from middle class don’t own big houses) so for him (my husband) it was a big blow, yeah of course where will he (my husband) keep me.

Many times I feel God was with us and still HE is with us, because he (my husband) changed everything, he got on his feet for our parents and got on his knees for me and proved everyone that anything is possible and if you love someone like he loves me; a person can achieve anything he desire.

As I have been through a long distance relationship, I feel we are still together because of trust and friendship. I seriously feel that in today’s time we treat our spouse or partner with equal respect, trust and friendship and the most important communication. It’s not that we don’t fight. We fight tooth and nail, but in the end we communicate our differences. As before to becoming a lover or spouse we were friends, and as a friend I can tell him (husband) anything which I can’t say to my husband (if he is not my friend).

I guess this is my simple love story.

Manish — Rashi believe me it is one of the sweetest love stories I have come across.

6. What hooks you to YourQuote & YQ Family?

A free platform to write and learn is the one of the biggest reason I am hooked to YQ, and as for YQ family, do I seriously have to answer it as everyone knows that.

7. A big bookworm you are; so tell us who are your favorite writers and which books do you love?

I am a romance freak, dark, dirty, ridicules cheesy romance, horror, mystery, comedy, give me anything I will read it off. And then cursed like a sailor too ;) if the book is ridiculous.

Other than romance I am animal freak I can read articles and articles about animals and birds. I used to read National Geographic’s magazine in my school library and my librarian used to issue me those magazine for home, otherwise no one had that permission. I was lucky she loved me like that.

And as for a favorite writer, no one and everyone.

8. Who are your favorites on YQ?

Favorite writers… Urgghh… Why do you guys ask that :P

I think as a writer my own self; I cannot like or hate anyone’s work because every person has his/her own perception and they write with that in their mind. Maybe, many times you don’t agree with them, but it doesn’t mean that they are wrong or their words are cruel or they do not make sense. Because, if you have a day another person who is sitting far away may have night in their timezone. Writing and writers belong to a grey area in which everything is black and everything is white in their own twisted way.

So for me, every writer who writes is awesome.

9. What are your hobbies and interests except for eating 40+ Pani Puri?

Except Pani Puri now that is difficult, (and to correct it I can eat almost 60+ at the same time… 40+ yaar thodi tou reputation Ka khayal rakho, kisi ne padh Lia tou hasenge ‘ke sirf 40’)

Did I mention I am insane (?), if not, then this will cover it up. I don’t have one hobby. I have many, to learn new things is one and upfront in all and second is my mood. Painting, photography, reading, writing, sewing, cooking, watching movies, editing videos and making Video mix of my favorite serials, editing photos, making banners, mixing music, learning different languages, just name it and I am doing it. And believe me with all my hobbies my husband suffers a lot, because as I said my hobby changes depending on my mood and with that my crankiness comes and nags him till he fulfills my hobby (or so called mood in the name of hobby).

10. Your writings are awesome (I know because I got a chance to read), so how did you start writing?

I write awesome? Seriously!? Because I don’t feel that. Not because I don’t believe my words, but because I feel I am still immature with words and I have never thought or looked myself as a quote or one line writer, I am more proud of my story telling skills. I love to create characters and make their life happy. So sometimes I feel surprised when some praises my quotes.

As I said before I was very shy person so to make friend was never easy for me so I found my solace in my writing, and I got the outlet to pour my emotions in them. I am also blessed with one of the wonderful language as Urdu, words were never been issue for me, the vast capacity of words and versatility give me opportunity to play with them as often as I get time. First, I used to write songs. I tune my favorite song and started to write my own song and on that song create a story line and I finish that story with many phases of songs with the same tune; each of those songs (phases) had a clip of a story. That was when I started my journey as a writer.

11. You have experienced both Indian & Pakistani cultures, so let us know some similarities & differences according to you?

Of course, there is huge difference between India and Pakistan, because these both are two different nations with different ideologies, views and laws and rights.

As one country belongs to diverse culture and the other one has just one, so the main point of difference comes here only. Some people I have met in India, they think that Pakistan doesn’t allow people to practice other religions as India does, which is not true. They think that Pakistan is an Islamic republic like other gulf countries, where you will only find Islam. No, it doesn’t mean minorities have no rights/views that they cannot showcase.

Believe me, I didn’t know that India and Pakistan have such strained relationship till I got married. I still face some issues just because I am from Pakistan. People avoid me, they feel that I am here just to blow them up *laughs* But that’s a whole new topic.

And if you see the two cultures, there is not very huge difference either. When I shifted to India, of course I got a blow in my daily life, but it was adjustable, because cuisines are same, language is almost the same just not when you write it (but yes, it became a barrier for me when I shifted to Andhra Pradesh because I didn’t even know that there is some language known as Telugu), lifestyle is same (as of just in metro cities), educational system is same. If you see the daily life basis, it is same as here.

But indeed these two are two different nations with different views and culture altogether. The gap of culture is not as big as we see it.

12. What is the most fulfilling thing about writing? How seriously do you take your writing?

My life is serious my writing is not. My writing is my outlet to pour my emotions and get over with them and twist them with humor. Writing for me is out of the world I experience where I can see my own life from above and tweak it as I want and create new characters.

In one way my writing is the only thing I take seriously, it is the only thing which keeps me sane in the complete insanity of my life.

13. You like to continue your education, did you try courses for foreigners in India?

Yes, as soon as I got married here, my first job was to get LTV (long term visa) and then to find a college to enroll myself. But, nothing happened as per my plan. I tried many colleges but they are refused me, their reason was they don’t accept Pakistani degree and blah blah blah.

The other main issue I had was that government didn’t provide me student visa, as a married to Indian, I only got residential permit, which doesn’t include working or student visa. So I couldn’t study here. And then they got my paperwork messed up and I am stuck here and couldn’t go back to my country to presume my education either.

If I get a chance to presume my education, that is something hard for me to get, but I will go for Masters and then PHD in psychology.

14. If there is a novel based on your life, what would it be called?

“Dark insanity” I think it sums up my all dark side and insane personality.

Insane in a sense because I have this dark side of me, which I don’t show to anyone. But sometimes I let it go in my writing, so yeah I don’t care if it makes me an insane and I don’t feel bad about to cherish that side of mine, which is completely me. Other half is what you guys see, or rather what I show them, I don’t like to scare people you know. ;)

15. What is your favorite possession that kind of defines you? Please share 2–3 pictures of that, as well?

My favorites possessions are my books and my laptop which define me as a reader, writer and a dreamer which complete me the best.

Manish: Thanks Rashida for such patience & answering all the questions which are not mentioned here, as your dark secrets are safe with me.

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