A Flaming Spirit Ruhani Syed: Rebellion from Young Age, Still Fighting for Many Hidden Tears and Trapped Souls.
Obstacles, challenges or hindrance in life are like sharpening tools that could turn a mere scanty stone into a diamond. Sometime life throws the most unbearable situations before some of us, but those who could outlive it are the real warrior of life. And when we speak about women from Jammu and Kashmir, life is never simple. But still, some of them have reached on the pinnacle of whatever work they opted to do. The stories are even more endearing and motivational when we know about the obstacles they have successfully overcome and have left a mark for others to follow.
These women would make us feel overwhelmed by their dogged determination to succeed in life as well as force others to follow suit. The tale of Ruhani Syed is not just any simple tale, it is about a winner who stood for what is veracious and fought for it. Not too many have the talent, and the mental power to withstand the troubles she undertook in her 27 years of age.
“Cowards die many times before their deaths,
The Valiant never taste of death but once”
This Shakespearean quote is most accurate one to elaborate the tremendous as well as amazing determination Ruhani has shown to twirl her life to become a successful model, an artist and as well a rebellious poet.
The Journey of a Rebellion in Making
Hailing from the Kashmir, Ruhani Syed was born and bought up in the conflict zone, where from the very beginning she started to question injustice happening around her. At the age of 17, she was sent to ‘Madrassa’ in Gujarat as a reforming action for slapping her teacher, who had passed indecent comment to her friend.
Just for being confident, flamboyant and speaking out her thoughts she was beaten up in Madrassa where the rules were very strict. She was to train with around 400 Muslims girls in Quran recitation. She was targeted, bullied, beaten up for being strong-willed. Her stay there was filled with horror. Once the beating was so brutal that she was admitted in ICU. The girls were helpless since their calls were monitored and letters censored. In her stay at the Madrassa for four and a half years, she tried to escape more than once. Her real encounter with death taught her to have even become stronger and determined.
“I was traumatized, severely tortured and had a near-death experience which landed me in the hospital for voicing my views against the dogmatic people. While being on my death bed I promised myself never to return to that place,” she recalls.
Luckily for Ruhani during one of her father’s visit, he noticed the impoverished condition and decided to take her back to the valley. Destiny had different plans for this lady. Once she came back she didn’t get admission in any of the educational institutions. She went to Himachal where she took painting and it helped to heal her wounds a lot. Later she decided to take a computer course in Mumbai.
She was finally liberated when she was spotted by a film director and well-known advertising and fashion photographer who told her that she had the face of the model. Then there was no looking back or stopping this diamond from shinning. Her face was splashed all over the top fashion magazines like Cosmopolitan, Elle and Grazia and billboards in Mumbai. Soon she shooting with major fashion divas like Rohit Bal, endorsing Maruti and Grasim campaigns, and working for Satya Paul collections.
At Peace with yourself
Even though she was a model, her passion for art started attracting a niche audience globally; however, she had to face a lot of harassment even in her own home town for her choice of profession.
She started to convert her pain into art when she locked herself and created a series called tribal chic, a group of ten canvases that brought out all the anguish and pain locked up inside her. She was awarded the youngest artist achiever of the country. The tensions and turbulence within her, she took it to her advantage and created a satire called Moorakh Duniya (Foolish World) where she questioned in a hilarious manner about the confused egocentric system. She was in search to express the turmoil, commotion around her; she wanted to fill the voids she felt. She started writing poems which gave her a kind of newfound buoyancy.
“Poetry did just that for me. I found deep contentment and solace in writing poems and songs, and soon enough I found myself recording them for a cause. My style of expression is called storytelling.”
Women like Ruhani are selfless souls who work to save the dignity of so many unspoken women around. So many women look upon her as their role model but even can’t express themselves. May her struggle be a motivation to all the hidden teary eyes and jailed silences? As Ruhani says, “One medium is not enough to express me. My relation to art is that of a butterfly to a flower.”
Let each one of us find the butterfly trapped somewhere inside us.