Who is he
Author of Home Boy, HM Naqvi is as flamboyant in his writing as in his personal style. Born on the day Zaheer Abbas scored a double century against England at the Oval, Naqvi’s been writing since he was 5-years-old.
After he graduated from Georgetown University in 1996, he pretty much subsisted on a two-dollar budget and began writing short stories. Soon after, he was running the only slam poetry venue in Washington DC, the Fifteen Minutes Club.
And with his talent, it didn’t take long for his poems to be broadcasted on NPR and BBC. When Home Boy came out in 2009, it was an instant literary success, winning the first DSC Prize for South Asian Literature at the Jaipur Literature Festival in 2011.
Why we love him
With shirt unbuttoned to navel and head closely shaved, Naqvi exudes flamboyance and daring, and one might be led to believe he has an exhibitionist streak.
On the contrary, this writer is so private that ladies, you can scour the internet all you like but you’ll find little on his personal life.
Because for Naqvi, it’s all about penning beautiful stories and creating intriguing characters.
A strictly nocturnal creature, Naqvi works away at his art all night, rather than waiting for inspiration to strike. “Inspiration is whimsical,” he says. “But inspiration doesn’t get books written. You have to sit down every day and work like a carpenter.”
What you didn’t know about him
Besides writing, he enjoys playing table tennis and cooking. He finds solace in “slicing onions so fine that they melt in the oil.”
If Naqvi wasn’t a writer, he would be a doctor. “There are enough writers in the world. There aren’t enough doctors,” he says.
His ideal woman is “attractive, sharp as a knife, and endowed with a sense of humour.” We can safely assume Aliya, his wife, is all three.
Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, September 9th, 2012.