Essays

Spiritual Activism Across Continents, Part 2

November 14, 2018

Kalaashakti rerouted the exploitative objectives of institutions like colonialism, EuroAmerican control over land, resources, knowledge, and cultural identity, and heteropatriarchy the dominance of men and heterosexual norms, through meditative pauses and re-embodiment. These practices loosen the grip of colonial and heteropatriarchal messages and framings inscribed into our breath and bodies that tell us, as Muslim … Read More

Spiritual Activism Across Continents, Part 1

November 13, 2018

Creating Kalaashakti, a series of workshops centered on spiritual activism and healing, was a personal labor of love. The spiritual activism of these workshops was an experiment in a different kind of anti-violence, one that increased our inner fortitude to be with suffering and know it intimately, and open ourselves to healing in community — … Read More

The Fragmentation and Murders of Queer Brown Men in Toronto

November 8, 2018

Eight men were murdered in Toronto, their bodies dismembered and placed into more than dozen fiberglass garden planters on a residential property on Mallory Crescent. This was the same Leaside neighborhood where self-employed landscaper and occasional mall Santa Bruce McArthur worked. Fragments of bodies were found in a wooded area adjacent to the property as … Read More

Raj Kapoor, Mukesh, and Nostalgia for an Inclusive Nationalism

October 2, 2018

Challia, Awaara, Shree 420 – the singer Mukesh’s soulful voice is found across the soundtracks of films in an early post-colonial India, narrating the vastly different post-partition life on the sub-continent. With Raj Kapoor, an accomplished actor and producer, Mukesh would go on to play an essential role in forming a young India’s national identity … Read More

The Suitable Girl: Sari Fears

The women in my family are columns of silk when they wear saris. Statuesque, taller somehow, unattainable in their grace and assuredness, as if they wore the fabric like power. They took small steps but also long strides. They wore high heels that daggered into the floor of hotel ballrooms, leaving behind tiny indentations in … Read More

Transmasculine, Closeted and Dysphoric on Eid al Ahda

August 21, 2018

As a girl and then as a woman, Eid has always been the same. My mother and I rise hours before the other half of our household, brushing, dabbing, smoothing, and painting ourselves before dressing in the clothing she has picked. There are janamaaz laid out on the plastic turf in an Indiana high school … Read More

Kajal Vol. 2: Love Machine

May 16, 2018

This piece was originally published in Kajal Volume 2, Mytho-Techno. Order your copy of the magazine here. Social commentators often lament that technology explodes the world into a thousand little pieces, each floating about in alienated orbs, only touching when they collide in anger and acrimony. In market speak made social speak, they call this … Read More

I Have My Grandfather’s Hands

May 11, 2018

I have my grandfather’s hands. They are square and hardy. They can hold a lot. Like him, I suppose. I used to hate my hands. I have always found them to be too masculine and bulky. Too much for me. I have spent years hiding them, or wanting to (how do you hide your hands?). … Read More

Swipe Me Left, I’m Dalit

April 23, 2018

Everything from knowledge to housing to career is determined by one’s social location. And so are relationships. We are familiar with the stats from 2014 on OKcupid, which showed that black women were the least desirable group (Asian men were rated lowest by single women). Closer home, there is no survey to justify a similar … Read More

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