Maheen Humayun

Maheen Humayun

The writer studied Literature and Creative Writing from John Cabot University in Rome. She is the author of the novella Special. She blogs at karachiiloveyou.wordpress.com/ and tweets @MaheenHumayun

Why do I have to pretend to fast when my “monthly friend” is visiting?

I sit in the room at the end of the hallway. The door is closed. My head is bent. I am waiting to be called. I was six-years-old. I stood on the balcony with my mother, father and cousin as we tried to spot the chaand that would symbolise the start of Ramazan. I was excited. I was thrilled; there was nothing I wanted more than to fast for the entire month. I started singing, “Ramazan ke rozay aye, hum roza rakhna chahain!” (The month of fasting is here, and we wish to fast!) My cousin shared the same enthusiasm; he got up and began singing along with me. ...

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Hindi Medium proves that English is still the language of the colonisers, except the elite are the colonisers now

When you think of language, you think in a language. For me, it’s English. It always has been. Sometimes, I wonder if my thoughts were in another language, would I be different? Would my life have turned out differently? Perhaps. You never know, that’s the thing. Hindi Medium made me realise that language has the power to change. I see it every day around me. I see it at work when I try to communicate in Urdu but my vocabulary falls short. I used to see it in school, when people mocked that one kid for speaking in Urdu because God forbid, ...

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The dancing girls

Deep breath in. Deep breath out. Relax your diaphragm. Repeat. This was my mantra, at least, these days it was. I tried to tell myself that these three steps would make everything better, would make the way I feel better. But I don’t really think they do. I can see the city lighting up from my window. I know that outside, people are getting ready to leave their houses, and venture out into Karachi’s beauty. I’d be a part of it too, if I could, if I knew how. But the bars on my windows are too strong. They skew ...

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13 Reasons Why: If someone told you they were in pain, what would you do?

She is laying in a tub, fully clothed, the water filled to the brim. Her heart is beating; her hands are shaking as she scrapes the blade onto her wrists. There is blood everywhere. There’s blood on her wrists as she shakes over and over again. There’s blood in the water as it tips over the edge of the tub onto the once pristine white floor. I feel my own blood flowing as I watch, glued to my screen. I feel the lub dub of my heart, relentlessly beating. And then I feel emptiness. I feel nothing at all. Note: Before you read ...

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Dear misogynist from Parhlo, this is what Pakistani feminists want you to know

I came across an article on Parhlo today, and infuriated does not come close to encapsulating how I feel, so here’s my response to it. Before you start calling me a “feminazi” – listen closely. The roots of feminism lie in finding equality; it is not about disowning male rights, or putting women above, it is about finding an equal ground that pleases both genders. Questioning, or challenging or taking offense to feminism makes you a sexist, plain and simple. Have you not heard of the damsel in distress? Have you not heard of the ‘Angel in the House’? I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t because let’s ...

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They call you darkness, I call you my best friend

I am a flower. A petal. A stone. I am all of these things and none, I am burning with follicles; I am bound shut by earth, I am two polar opposites, striking against each other at all times. I am sin I am sadness I am hope on a tree I am lost, eternal, free-falling misery. I am light in the dark I am the wind in the desert I am every cliché that you think I deserved. I am lost, I am found: I am almost always a raging sound I am loud and fierce and fiery I am darkness as it drowns your lungs; you cannot breathe. I am suffocating ...

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Season six of Girls is a game changer. Here’s why.

The first thing that struck me about season six of Girls was how it wasn’t about the girls anymore. The show was no longer about the undeniable bond between four girls that stood unwavering through time. In the very first episode, Hannah (Lena Dunham) says to Paul-Louis (Riz Ahmed) – having him in the episode was enough for me to like it – that she only knew her friends by what they didn’t like. How odd is it to not know what your friends like? How odd is it to relish in that fact? She smirks as she says this and man, ...

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Illusions exist

If I sit here, in this room for just a moment, what would change? What would happen? Just a minute, one moment. All to myself. Would the world change if I let myself forget about it? It forgot about me. It forgot about me a long time ago. So now I sit here frozen. Frozen in time. I can’t move. I’m trying so hard, but I can’t. I sit here staring at my legs, willing them to work. I’m willing myself to move, I swear. My legs won’t work. My feet won’t move. My toes won’t wiggle. The room is so small, all I can feel are ...

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Gilmore Girls: It’s a religion, a lifestyle

“So it’s a show? It’s a lifetime. It’s a religion.” #GilmoreGirls newbies, consider this your assigned reading because it's not just a show… https://t.co/xUYGVpFc0O pic.twitter.com/U2QrVUdi1J — E! News (@enews) October 25, 2016 I’m sitting here, pausing and playing season seven’s last episode of Gilmore Girls because I don’t want it to end. The trailer for the Gilmore Girls Revival is out! And I can’t contain myself. Lorelai (Lauren Graham) is back and she wants coffee coffee coffee. And I want the new season now now now. There's still one month till the new #GilmoreGirls drops, and that is just too long. pic.twitter.com/OpiLIkbeUm — SELF Magazine ...

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A Series of Unfortunate Events: Will Netflix be able to do justice to the books?

I am ten-years-old, sitting on my pink barbie bed, it is way past my bed-time. The Grim Grotto is the sole object of my fascination. I hold up my tiny book light to the sentences I had waited so long to meet with. Twelve years later, I am that little girl all over again as I watch the Netflix teaser for A Series of Unfortunate Events (ASOUE). It begins: “Hello, I am Lemony Snicket and once again I find myself talking to a stranger in a dimly lit room.” But I can’t look away. And I can’t avoid the cruel whimsy. I want ...

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