SINGAPORE - Known for her short stories and poetry, Indian author and freelance journalist Fehmida Zakeer is visiting Singapore from March 25 to 30 and meeting her readers at a number of events organised by the National Library Board.
She is sharing and discussing her short story, Pot Of Water, which was selected as part of Read! Singapore's 2013 anthology Under One Sky, with readers here, during her five-day visit to Singapore.
Pot Of Water is a tale of a poor Indian woman's search for water and the social and gender divides that become apparent through her plight.
"Things I observed around me, slices of life that left an impression came back to me when I started writing the story," she said, when asked if personal experiences had inspired her to write Pot Of Water.
"There is the underlying thread about water scarcity in the story but my focus was the girl's attitude towards life. Though she faces many hardships, she does not resort to unethical ways to solve her problems. Water scarcity is a problem prevalent worldwide. While the privileged few get water easily by just turning on a tap, there are those who have to walk miles to get potable water. I think Pot Of Water shows that water scarcity is prevalent even in urban areas," she added.
Ms Zakeer was born in Kerala and is currently based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, with her husband Zakeer Hussain, a government employee, son studying architecture and daughter, a higher secondary student.
She first started writing fiction as a way of bringing attention to social issues she encountered as a journalist and her literary works have been published in various online magazines.
Her articles on health and nutrition, lifestyle, travel, environment and gender issues have been featured in various Indian and International publications as well.
"Mostly I write health articles and social issues, but of late, I've been doing author interviews. I like to write about social issues because it is only by talking about it constantly that change can happen. I really admire people who actually go down and make that change happen by working passionately towards the causes they believe in," she said about her work as a freelance journalist.
Ms Zakeer is also noted for her works in flash fiction, a style of writing very short stories.