Almas Hussain

Born the fifth girl in an all-girl family, I’ve been fascinated by stories throughout my life. I’m a happy person who loves sad stories and songs. I love people but am happiest when alone. I live in Kolkata with my husband and son.

Sun Sign

Capricorn

Three things people don’t know about you?

Though I love my friends and family, I’m a bit of a loner. I love watching movies alone, often one per day. I’m basically lucky.

What’s your greatest fear?

If something bad happens to any of my loved ones.

What is your greatest achievement?

My son Mikhail has grown up to be a happy individual despite having cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

High point of your life?

Birth of my daughter, Soraya.

Low point of your life

Losing Mikhail’s identical twin brother, my son Sarfaraz.

Which living person do you most admire?

My father, Kabir. He’s technically dead, but he lives in my heart.

Who is your favorite fictional hero?

Caesar in Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome series.

Who is your favorite fictional villain?

Macbeth

Who are your favorite authors?

Colleen McCullough, Shakespeare, Nabokov, Khaled Hosseini, James Hadley Chase, Rumi, Richard Dawkins, Tagore, Qurratulain Hyder, Saadat Hasan Manto, Ismat Chughtai, Dickens, Hardy, Christie, Maugham, Steinbeck.

What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

Diwan e Ghalib, Mahabharat, Macbeth, Masters of Rome series, Lolita

Is there a book you love to reread?

Diwan e Ghalib

What are your 5 favorite movies of all time?

Sound of Music, Apu Trilogy, Mughal e Azam, The Bridges of Madison County, The Lives of Others

One Superpower you wish you had?

he power to banish poverty from the world, especially India.

Your epitaph would read? /Last line in your biography would be?

She was fun to be around.

If you had a time machine to take you back to any country and any time period, where would you choose to be for your childhood, adolosent , adult life and silver years?

Childhood – growing up with my grandson Kaveer in Windsor, Adolescent – enjoying the poetry of Mirza Ghalib as they were recited by him, Adult – watching Shakespearean plays as they were being written and performed, Silver Years – at home in Kolkata in the present.

If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

To write and think like Mirza Ghalib.

Which book you wish you had written ?

Diwan e Ghalib

When and where do you write ?

Early mornings, in my room, in bed, on my laptop.

Silence or music?

Silence

One phrase that you use most often?

What fun!

Do you have a writing ritual / superstition?

Must write on my own laptop.

What’s your guilty reading pleasure?

Self help books

Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

Begin with the end in mind.

Almas Kabir Hussain was born into an eccentric 43-member Bengali Muslim joint family. She can trace her ancestry to the Nawab of Jalpaiguri on her paternal side and the Nawab of Simri Bakhtiarpur on her maternal side. Hussain is the fifth daughter in a close-knit nuclear family of five girls headed by her feminist Abbu, G. Kabir.

She studied at Loreto House and Loreto College, Kolkata and graduated with a BA (English Honours). Widely travelled, she is fascinated by world literature. She read Creative Writing at Oxford University. For most of her professional life, Hussain worked as an advertising Copy Writer and Graphic Designer. She has been the proprietor of two advertising agencies, Via and Diva. Mesmerised by stories since childhood, she is a voracious reader and typically watches at least one film a day. Due to the nature of her husband’s transferable job, Hussain has lived in many cities all over the world including Kochi, Bangalore, Jamshedpur, Dhaka, London, Chennai and Teheran, in roughly that order.

She currently resides in Kolkata with her husband, Manzer Hussain, and their son, Mikhail. Her daughter, Soraya, lives in London with her husband, Amit, and their son, Kaveer.

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