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The Unbearable Lightness of Lawn

Lahore in the summer is colonised by lawn billboards. Fifty-foot women flanking the Jinnah flyover informing us that lawn season is here. IT’S HERE, and this is only Vol 1. I think their ubiquity is supposed to elicit a Pavlovian reaction in women stuck in traffic. But behind those lawn billboards, behind every patronising reassurance

An Open Application to Cornetto Pop Rock

To Whom It May Concern, I am writing this letter to you as an application to appear on your programme Cornetto ™ Pop Rock. Look, I know what you do. The performance, the music, the showbiz, the glitz and the glamour. I get it. And I am certain that I tick all those boxes. But

Café Mansplain

The mansplain - we’ve all been there and had it done to us. In Sweden they even had to open a hotline for women so they could talk about it – that’s how often it happens. Of course men derailed the entire thing because they kept calling to report they were worried they’d mansplained to someone and

Montage of a Dream

On Patari Tabeer and the figure of the chai-wala I remember the alchemy involved in making a doodhpatti for my mother. She’s picky: too little time on the heat and it’s kacha. Too much? Sargaya. There’s a basic patience involved in a good chai that I never possessed, but there were a few times when

Nazia Hassan: The Queen of Pop

  Every time I listen to Nazia Hassan I can’t help but think: how did my parents listen to this? Amma and Baba, who both listen to ghazals and qawwali, sometimes ask me to put some Nazia on in the car. The thought of them growing up with Disco Deewane as their college anthem is

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