Voices from North East India
Writing is a passion for Hasina. She expresses this passion as a journalist and poet. Her work has appeared in numerous English-language publications throughout India and abroad. In addition, Hasina has served as an editor for several international publications.
Hasina’s work as a journalist began in 1993. As a freelance journalist and columnist, she has contributed regularly to many local, regional, national, and international publications. Her articles have been published in multiple newspapers including The Meghalaya Guardian, The Shillong Times, North East Times, and Newsline. She has also contributed articles to several magazines and journals such as Prime Time, Eastern Panorama, and The North East Sun. In addition, since 2001, she has contributed to The W.A.S.H. Rag – Women Against Sexual Harassment, a U.S.-based newsletter. Her earlier writing included a wide range of topics, such as fashion, beauty, health, art, and culture. In recent years, her writing has been focused more on social development issues and human rights, especially child rights, women’s rights, and human trafficking, which has been published in several books.
Alongside her love of journalism, Hasina has expressed her passion for writing through her poetry. “Through poetry I trail the path of my unconscious mind, living the thoughts of mind which generally get lost in the day-to-day hectic life,” says Hasina. She has published three collections of poems – The Woman in Me (1997), Beyond the Veil (2001), and Unknown Destination (2003). Beyond the Veil was published in English and also translated into French.
In recent years, Hasina has devoted herself to carrying out her social mission through Impulse and other social development work. She has made the difficult decision of putting her writing aside to be able to focus on her work. However, in the future, Hasina hopes to be able to return to her poetry and journalism, and perhaps one day combine it with her ongoing work as a social developer by writing about issues such as human trafficking and human rights.
Hasina’s love of poetry began during her teenage years during which time she began submitting her poems to school journals and college magazines. In 1994, she received Honourable Mention in the All India Poetry Contest held by The Quest, a biannual journal of Indian writing in English. From 1994 to 2001, Hasina contributed regularly to The Quest and affiliated poetry anthologies. In 1995, her poetry first reached international readers when six of her poems were published in a U.S.-based poetry journal. Since then, she has continued to publish internationally, including regular contributions from 1997-2001 in the journal, Poet, an international monthly poetry journal.
In 1995, as her poetry made its debut in international publications, Hasina was recognized by prominent Indian novelist and journalist Khushwant Singh as a promising young poet of Meghalaya. Singh commented, "She is more concerned with human emotions than with the landscape or revolution." Hasina’s earlier works of poetry focused on human emotions and personal experiences, but over the years her poetry has gradually shifted to other topics such as world peace and travel.
In 2000, she was invited and sponsored to be part of the 2nd World Congress of Poets for Poetry Research and Recitation held in Yanji, China and Seoul, Korea. In Yanji, she presented her poem, “Give Peace a Chance” and short story, “Once Upon a Story.”
When the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the year 2000 as the ‘International Year for the Culture of Peace,’ Hasina commemorated this declaration with her organization Impulse by hosting a poetry contest. In collaboration with Writers’ Forum – Ranchi, the contest brought together poets of diverse backgrounds, ranging from young students to international writers, who expressed their longing for peace. Winning submissions were compiled and published as Explore World Peace Mission: An Anthology of World Poems, which was distributed internationally. Hasina served as the editor for the publication.
Celebrating Women’s Month 2008 through Poetry
To help commemorate International Women’s Day and Women’s Month in March 2008, Hasina had the pleasure of hosting a poetry gathering in Shillong through Impulse. Over a dozen local female poets, including student poets and accomplished writers, gathered to share their poetry that related to women’s issues. In addition, through a collective effort to celebrate womanhood, the poetesses wrote a poem, titled “Women.” Hasina hopes to create a collection of poems, which includes contributions from each of these local poets that attended this event
Even in the world amidst the differences
If feels so special to be a woman
Liberation from duality, transformation in your embrace
Oh Woman! Born to lead is your conviction
And to play the role to perfection
Untiringly, unflinchingly you strive in your ambition
Oh! Creature so divine
Inspires, amazes every mankind
Oh Woman! The womb of life
A Mother, a daughter, a friend rolled into one;
Sa re ga ma… A bloom, a breath, a ripple… fragments of a whole
A perennial pulse within you
To make this world a better resort
For the children of the future
Your strength is a gift from God
You are God’s most beautiful Creation.
Contributions made by:
Mrs. Smirti Rekha Das, Dr. Streamlet Dkhar, Mrs. Zoe Guite, Ms. Hasina Kharbhih, Mrs. Minimon Laloo, Ms. Desiree Nampui, Ms. Pdianglin Phanbuh, Dr. Larisuk Raplang, Ms. Vanessa F.G. Rymmai, Ms. Karuna Singh, Ms. Tidolis Snaitang, Ms. Amanda Tongper, Ms. Indari S. Warjri, Ms. Jobeth Ann Warjri