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Poems

Not Your Spice Girl

Much of South Asian literature is themed around food – milk and honey, saffron and cinnamon, jalebis and gulab jamuns, turmeric and mangos. Our food is electric in hues, decadent, an explosion of flavour, medicinal in nature.

I get why food takes centre stage in South Asian literature; alot of our parents expressed their love through food. While South Asian cooking is a part of my identity – after all, our ancestral land was colonized in some part for those commodities – it’s not a significant part of my story as a person.

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Poems

To The Women Of My Blood

A perception of South Asian women has lingered

That they are inherently submissive, naive, hidden from the world behind dupattas and burkas

But I look to the women of my bloodline who arrived before me

Audacious, uncompromising, unbearable to the men who don’t want to hear them

Bold looks, big dreams, words armed with wit

It’s dangerous

Some will try and bring you down to earth where they want you to belong

But you are flying, dazzling, undefeated

Your mother brought you and my mother to a cold strange land for a better life

And as your necklace rests on my chest I remember

To never compromise, to never bow my head in submission, to be free

As we laid you to rest, the birds were flying above

And I just knew

You were flying with them

For my dear Aunt Fauzia, 1959 – 2017

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Poems

Zubaida’s 1947

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Zubaida and the children left their home to discover a new religious refuge

Her husband would catch up with her later, he had to do what men do

Categories
Poems

To The Women Of My Blood

fauzia-2
In memory of Fauzia Ahmed, 1959 – 2017

A perception of South Asian women has lingered

That they are inherently submissive, naive, hidden from the world behind dupattas and burkas

But I look to the women of my bloodline who arrived before me