Essays

In the Shade: Turmeric

June 18, 2019

South Asian food is more than consumable. It is an emblem of the cultural migrancy brought to London from around the world. The rich and homegrown flavors grown in gardens from Pakistan to Sri Lanka, and parts of Africa and the Caribbean, are carried overseas by the diaspora with as much strength as there is … Read More

Screaming Loudly in Omelas: On Womxn’s Protests in Hindutva-Laced India

May 24, 2019

This month, our national media houses have taken to predicting election results on CGI helicopters above a CGI map of India. But wait – first, let’s talk about Omelas. Written in 1973, The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas is is a short work of fiction by Ursula Le Guin. In the city of Omelas, everything is beautiful. … Read More

The Suitable Girl: Overweight for an Asian Woman

February 26, 2019

Back in February, I went to the doctor for a general checkup. “You should work on losing weight,” my doctor said, looking coolly over her notes. “Asian women are usually slim. You’re overweight for an Asian woman.” For most of my life, my body and I were friends. I didn’t have unreasonable expectations of it, … Read More

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

Next Posts »