On Being a Non-Bilingual Brown Person

Thinkpieces

“You can’t understand Punjabi?!” Rishma* said, mouth open in a grin stuck on pause that evolved into rolling laughter of disbelief. “No,” I smiled, clenching my fists that lulled by my sides to prevent them from instinctively floating up and punching her in the jaw.

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F**k Fair & Lovely

Thinkpieces

Well hi there! I wrote something about being a proud Pakistani recently, and I wanted to share it here, with you lot. It’s about finding pride in my heritage after a lifetime of self loathing triggered by a society obsessed with being fair skinned and ‘exotic’…

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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

 

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To The Women Of My Blood

Poems

Some South Asian Appreciation

Thinkpieces

I’ve spent my whole life idolising people who don’t look like me, from Britney to Beyoncé. And hey, who wouldn’t? They’re beautiful, successful women. But as I grew older, so did my craving to see successful – in every sense of the word – women who looked like me; representation matters and all that. And as unbelievable as it may sound to some, where I was brought up, I hardly knew women who looked like me existed.

In no particular order…

Rupi Kaur

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