Poet and author Shirin Ariff’s debut novel is a collection of inspirational and meditational poetry that restored her sense of self by helping her to rebuild from past experiences of adversity and illness. In her poems she recreates the gifts of gratitude, unconditional love and tranquility. Each word flows from her experience of daily meditation at the magic hour of 4 am, that she calls “me time”.
Shirin is very passionate about writing. From a very young age, she contributed her poems to the local newspapers. Over the years, her poems have graduated from being thoughtful and fun to meditative, inspirational and spiritual. Shirin’s website is full of information about her books, her poetry and her speaking.
Beautifully and richly illustrated by Graphic Design and Advertising professional Zunash Ashiqali. Keepsake is not just for avid readers of poetry, it is a spiritual experience. The pause, the breath, the slowing down from your daily hustle. It’s about who we become when we learn to be fully present.
Shirin’s book launch was a tastefully planned artistic treat. The Bellerive Room at the Aga Khan Museum was hand-picked to create the ambience of beauty and inspirational art. On a Sunday afternoon about fifty people gathered to be inspired by Shirin’s work. The event began with a beautiful video on the poet’s idea behind creating Keepsake as a “Souvenir of Love”.
Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies at University of Toronto and Harvard schooled Dr. Shafique Virani, introduced the poet and her book. In his contribution to the foreword of the book, he sets the tone of sufi mysticism for the readers. The audience got to listen to the poet’s recitation of her own work, the story behind her creation as well as the vision she has for the book.
Zunash Ashiq Ali Graphic Design Professional and illustrator of the book shared her experiences of creating the visualization of each poem and her heart connect to the book.
Poet, author and spoken word artist Saher Lalani moved the audience by her rendition of three poems from Keepsake.
Singer and Songwriter Kathryn Merriam played the Harp and sang in her angelic voice to give the audience a delicate experience of mysticism.
The event was concluded by book signing over scrumptious samosas, delicious sweet onion bhajjiyas and freshly squeezed juices.