It is beautiful, it is powerful
Draping me like a queen
It is elegant, it is personal
It’s not for you to intervene
How I wear it, when I wear it
Or If I wear it at all
It is not yours to abuse
In your chauvinistic thrall
It is mine to choose and mine alone
If I drape it on one side
An embellishment, an adornment
Not a holy tent for me to hide
I choose if indeed I cover
My head or not at all
Mine to choose mine to use
To wrap around me like a shawl
In the end my garb, my hijab
My dupatta and my scarf
Are not for you to politicise
To legislate on my behalf
It’s mine to choose and mine alone
Not for you to rant and rail
To demonise and brutalise
Scrambling into realms of faith
It’s just free flowing fabric
There’s no honour in my veil
My virtue lies inside of me
And its not your holy grail
Angels never hide their light
They shine in its bright glow
I too choose a life for me where
Im free to thrive and grow
It has always been my choice to make
Not for you nor your most devout
Where I’m radiant and dignified
With my dupatta or indeed without.
Dear friends and family,
“The Girl with the Paisley Dupatta and other Stories” and “Curious Animals…” are NOW AVAILABLE IN PAKISTAN at the following locations:
LIBERTY BOOKS at all their locations in KARACHI and LAHORE
PARAMOUNT BOOKS in KARACHI (Main bookstore at PECHS and the Agha Khan bookstore)
Paramount Books in FAISALABAD and in ISLAMABAD
ORDER YOUR BOOKS ONLINE AT:
Do get your copies; and do let me know what you think 🤓
Here’s to Reading, Dreaming and Becoming 🌸
It is with a mixture of joy, some pride and truckloads of excitement that I announce the publishing of my second book – my book of short stories. This enterprise of the heart has been in the making for the past two years and has finally culminated into an anthology of tales.
It is said that shame dies when stories are told in safe places. THE GIRL WITH THE PAISLEY DUPATTA AND OTHER STORIES forges within its pages the sanctity and dignity that allow fragile stories to become powerful, purposeful, healing and exhilarating epics of personal courage and enterprise.
Many of the stories within this book are from outside the bell curve of our lives, and come straight from the truth-telling corners of the heart: from the brutal vigilante justice dispensed in the name of religion in “The Gods of Fury”; to the harrowing custom of honour revenge in the “Sins of our Fathers”; to the patriarchal ruthlessness that so many young women are subjected to in the title story “The Girl with the Paisley Dupatta”.
Others are stories of women and men negotiating life, love, friendship, careers and tradition in the sometimes tumultuous and many times limiting folds of their families and their communities: from the love affair of the enterprising 61 year old Nighat in “Love in Rawalpindi”; to the shenanigans of a dancing queen in “Riotous Love”; to the complicated friendship between two society girls in “Days of Purgatory”.
The last three stories in the book are a tribute to that most ingenious art form, political satire.
These tales will make you laugh, cry and ruminate in equal measure while niggling at the peripheries of conventional value systems.
The book is currently available at the Jam Fruit Tree bookstore on Galle Road in Colombo. I will try and make it available for friends and family in Pakistan and Dubai soon.
To pre-order your copy of the book, please contact me here. It may take me some time, but I will try and get it to you 🤓