A Young Mom Writes

By Khalidha Naushad | Published: 2:00 AM Nov 17 2021
Look A Young Mom Writes

By Khalidha Naushad

 Ceylon Today Features “If you feel that you are doing something great that your heart yearns for, and pursuing your dreams that is what will make you succeed.” – Nafla Salahudeen

Author of Simple as That, Nafla Salahudeen, receives plenty of fan mails, but the best ones come in the form of appreciation notes from parents of the readers. “They tell me that I am an inspiration to their kids.” Nafla, a young mom of three, a student and a counsellor, is well-known for her non-fiction writing. Her passion for writing non-fiction and children’s picture storybooks have led her towards her debut book Simple as That, which also translated into Tamil as Elithilum Elithu. 

Out of three books she wrote, two were children’s picture storybooks, The Crown and the Robe, Hajara Counts Her Blessings and Hadhee’s Nest, which was published recently. Talking to Ceylon Today, Nafla shared some of the feedback she received. “Some parents share how their children request them to read my books over and over again. All these words just make me happy and push me to produce more books and articles.” This young energetic woman is also the owner of Bloom Publications, which is specialised in producing Islamic children’s books and products. 

Hitting the road 

“I could have published my first book as a youngster,” Nafla recalls, adding, “But I wasn’t genuinely into writing at the time.” Nafla appreciated getting chosen for essay competitions at school, despite not being a big writer. Who doesn’t want to win school competitions? They are, in fact, what drives us on in life. “I have been passionate about participating in essay competitions since I was a child,” she says, “and I became inspired every time I was selected.” She began contributing to newspapers and publications as the birth of her career in the literary world. 

Nafla eventually began authoring her own works and, as previously said, formed a publishing house of the name Bloom Publications. Originally from Nawalapitiya, Nafla had to shift to Kandy in her early teens and started schooling there. “As me and my younger brothers started schooling in Kandy, my parents found it easy to shift to Kandy instead of travelling from Nawalapitiya every day.” In spite of the fact that she was permanently settled in Kandy, she says her weekends and holidays were spent at Nawalapitiya, “So my life was spent both in Kandy and Nawalapitiya.” Wanting to pursue her dreams in the field of science, she eventually discovered that she excelled better in psychology and writing. 

Nafla shares a glimpse of the challenging journey of her debut book, Simple as That. “I was 24 when I published my first book. It was a non-fiction book with the title Simple as That. It was translated into Tamil as Elithilum Elithu by Hafiz Issadeen. My journey when I started writing Simple as That was neither too easy nor too difficult.” She had her ups and downs throughout, “since I had conceived my second baby and my eldest son was one and a half years then.” She is beyond thankful to her family and her husband for the immense support she received. 

“My husband being a medical doctor would provide free time for me to write, by taking care of my little one after he came back from work. That made things a bit easy to focus on writing. My husband’s support has been immense physically and emotionally. My parents and siblings too extended their emotional support throughout.” It was tiring at times, she says. “Spending sleepless nights in breast feeding my little one, having conceived and also trying to make my dream come true in publishing my first book altogether was tough. I was successfully able to publish my first book ever, with dedication and effort.” 

Talking on her books 

“My first non-fiction book, Simple as That,” she explains, “talks about a mother raising a daughter, practical challenges in marriage from the standpoint of a wife, daughter-in-law, and mother-in-law, and practical answers for those as well...Hajara Counts Her Blessings is a great story with bright images for children to understand the blessings one is blessed with and to cherish those,” said the author of Hajara Counts Her Blessings; a book about thankfulness and appreciation. Readers have different ideas on what makes a good book, but consider Nafla’s. 

“I believe that a good novel will keep a reader hooked from beginning to end.” Hadhees Nest is her latest book published on 5 November, which will also be translated to Tamil. To write is to think, inspiration is born out of thought. A novel might be influenced by your real life, as well as how you wish your life to be at times. According to Nafla, “I always wanted my children to be exposed to decent morality, particularly Islamic principles, and beliefs. 

So, with that in mind, I wanted to create books and things that would be beneficial to children, not only for my own children, but for all the gorgeous children out there.” Publishing her first book, she says, “I realised that writing a book is not a piece of cake.” Nafla discovered a lot more about the publishing industry once she started developing manuscripts and stepping into the procedures. 

A message to youth 

Nafla advises youth to work towards their goals, dream and achieve big. “To achieve in life, you need to sacrifice certain aspects and come out of your comfort zone. Trust me, to whatever efforts you put in today, you will turn back and feel proud about yourself about whom you have become now.”

By Khalidha Naushad | Published: 2:00 AM Nov 17 2021

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