Will the Real Pakistani Please Stand Up?

“Oh but you don’t look like a Pakistani!”

“You look totally Indian, you’ll gel right in!”

Ever since I moved to India two years ago, I’ve heard many a people make such statements the moment they find out that I am from Pakistan. However, recently, when someone made the same comment on finding out that I am a Pakistani, a friend sitting beside me made a confused faced and asked, “Um, what is a Pakistani supposed to look like?” In that moment, all of us turned quiet and an awkward silence ensued. Read More

Mian, Biwi Aur Wagah

Mian, Biwi, Aur Wagah was the name of a play Arman, my husband and I went to watch a couple weeks after we got married. Although the play deserves a blog post of its own, I was inspired by its title and thought of writing about my experience of travelling to India through the Wagah border for the first time.

When Arman and I met in Karachi a year ago, we were both supposed to head back to Delhi in a week’s time. Lo and behold, we decided to cross the Wagah border together and take a train from Amritsar to Delhi. I was really excited because my Bollywood dreams, ever since I had watched Veer Zara, were finally going to come true! Read More

Phulkari Loving in Pakistan

Recently, after Arman and I got married, we went to Murree for a mini-honeymoon/getaway for a couple days. I will certainly do a post on that trip soon so keep an eye out for it in the ‘Travel’ section. But for now, let’s talk about a trend I noticed catching on in Pakistan from the hills to Murree to the arid plains of Karachi. Strolling on the Mall Road in Murree, I couldn’t help but notice colorfully embroidered dupattas that I had a feeling I had seen somewhere before, although not in Pakistan. Suddenly I remember I saw this very type of embroidered dupattas during my not-so-frequent visits to Khan Market in Delhi. Now it is said that Khan Market is the world’s 24th most expensive retail location (insert hyperlink). So naturally, when I asked a street vendor who had set up shop on the side of a passageway that connects the outer lane to the middle one, I half expected him to quote me a price which would certainly be out of my budget! And he did and that was the end of that. I forgot about that pretty embroidered dupatta I had my eyes on until one of its cousins and I locked eyes all the way on this side of the border in Murree, Pakistan.  Read More

Meethi Eid

France ka visa reject hua
Ek nahi do dafa hua
Ticket tha aur daawatnaama bhi
Saath mai thi sab jan ki dua

Khuda ne kuch behtar socha tha
Khuda to phir Khuda hua na
Gaata to har dar dum rahoonga
Ab ke dulha mai banoonga

Bhai kahe Karachi aao
Ek dafa saath Eid manaao
Ammi boleen bilkul jaao
Yeh na kaha saath dulhan ko laao  Read More

Barr-e-Sagheer ki Ammiyan

I wake up by the sound of Arman’s mom complaining, “You think you could have slept in the same room as her, if it was her house?” I turn around to see Arman missing from the bed we both slept in side by side last night, much to his mother’s dismay in the morning. Hiding in the confines of the room, not daring to confront her, I began to reminisce about a similar experience I had in Karachi with my own mother.  Read More