The Forbidden One

The Forbidden One - Zaarra Khader

A sorrowful collection of stories about love, loss, and perhaps missed opportunities. I loved the tone of all the pieces and felt horribly for many of the characters. The flow of each story is well done and they all fit nicely together, even though each chapter is its own unique story. 

The tone is quite captivating throughout the entire work. It's almost mournful, despite several of the stories having happy moments. At the same time, there's hope throughout the work, as if encouraging us to continue to follow our dreams and passions down those forbidden roads. 

I definitely recommend this book if you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary. You could it all at once or read a chapter here and there. Either way you'll be given a fresh perspective on subjects that so many of us take for granted. 


Bio Information

A Media Maven, a creative thinker, independent-minded non-conformist woman who has always believed in walking my own path even if it is forbidden and now finally an Author! I am extremely humbled that my first book- The Forbidden One - got the award for the best short stories collection at the Lit – O – fest Mumbai 2015 and has received an overwhelming response by the short stories readers, the press and the book critics. Their support encouraged me to bring forth more stories of grey… and rarely a bit of white too! My first novel – It Waz Consensual happens to be a sizzling story of love, passion, heartbreaks and triumphs of a woman who with all her consent surrendered to love!  

Here’s a bit of a flashback – my life so far ….I got enticed in the profession of expressions at an early age even though I studied to be an engineer. From hosting radio shows, producing TV shows and conceptualizing events and engagement platforms – I have been in the business of entertainment, communication and sponsorship for more than a decade now. Having challenged almost everything that was preached to me, I discovered an urge to reach out to the world and cage their imagination with a few characters and tales which seem familiar yet are unknown. The beauty of being a writer is that it helps you create; it helps you give birth to a life or a character without getting pregnant, even though the pain of labour remains the same! Having said that I think I love to conceive 24 * 7!

Having written some impressive jingles for the advertising world, I followed it all with my lyrical venture on contemporary Sufism and a few online projects on music and storytelling for Indian digital media companies. At the bottom of my heart, I am in bliss when I am weaving tales that are about characters who display exemplary resilience in their highly individualistic pursuits and strike an emotional chord with my audiences – be it through my books, my debut film or even the advertising campaigns that I design.

It Waz Consensual is a woman’s journey of finding love, after having showered it all on the man she loves is when she discovers her love for self and life. It’s the story of sexciting romance between two individuals whose need to be in a relationship was completely different from each other’s. An enticing story of companionship that gets shadowed by the hunger for love, sex and ‘satta’ - it has everything that was consensual yet doesn’t turn out to be anything close to what the leading lady in the novel had consented for.


Q&A

1. What inspired you to write this book?

The whole idea of writing an anthology of short stories was to bring to light their emotional journeys of the characters in the book as they walk the Forbidden path. I thought that a few tales need to reach out to the world even if they are forbidden because end of the day, haven’t we all done something forbidden in life…

2. What’s your favorite short story included in The Forbidden One?

The time when I was researching on the Cloud burst in Rishikesh and misery of the survivors in the relief camp was something that left me disheartened, it was painful to accept that the nature’s wrath could unveil the unholy side of human existence. I feel the same when I see the people in our country ruining equations and lives because of the religious divide, religion – apparently  a way of life that gets you closer to god and his divine presence is what makes humans behave in inhumane ways! Since I feel for the social injustice and divides in our country so strongly, ‘Om Namah Shivaye’ and ‘ Rida’s Love Story’ are two stories that have a special place in my heart.

3. Was there a deciding point in your life that made you want to be an author?

To be honest, I never thought I could write so much! It is when a dear friend of mine read a few articles written by me that he insisted that I should take up writing seriously because he thought the way the characters of my stories emote makes them feel like real characters with real stories. Had it not been his motivation and persistence, I wouldn’t have walked pursued writing with as much passion as I do now.

4. Who is your favorite author?

Ayn Rand - My love for her work is unexplainable. Anthem is one of the most interesting and provocative novels of the 20th century. 

5. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?

Writing is the only thing I thought I would do without any process. It’s something I love doing, so I do it when I like and wherever I like. The recluse in me likes the randomness of penning down the tales that I feel for. Having said that my cup of coffee and the sound of the sea play a pivotal role in boosting my neurons with creativity!

6. How would you describe your writing style?

Emotive…Free of rules (The grammatical one’s are definitely followed!)

7. What’s your ultimate writing goal?

To write an epic, something that is remembered even when I am no more.