Fatima Majeed

Fatima Majeed

An avid reader, freelance writer and home-maker.

Why is Punjabi viewed as an inferior language?

The car paused at a busy signal and as I was fidgeting with my rings, a colourful banner caught my attention. It read ‘goongay Punjab apni zaban mangda’ (the deaf and mute Punjab seeks its language). This statement brought back so many memories. February 21st is celebrated as the International Mother Language Day. This celebration holds very significant, at the same time, conflicting and tormenting memories in my mind. It started with pain, but eventually evolved into something beautiful. Punjabi is my maa boli (mother tongue) and it was the only language I was taught when I was a child. My father loved ...

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This Valentine’s Day, we will play into the hands of capitalists, yet again…

St Valentines breezed into our life ten years ago and dyed our mundane existence with his amorous red. But little did we know that his lucrative bag of goodies masked loathsome massive genii of capitalism waiting to be unleashed. In a society, blemished by polarities and rife with the most complex war ever, we were love starved. The gap was wasting to be filled with love and ‘expression of love’. We express our hatred and dislike easily but when it comes to love, we are meagre. So, it hit us unexpectedly and the conditioning became so engrossing that after almost a ...

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Why did my daughter always pick a petite doll with lustrous blonde hair?

It is pertinent for children to grow up with a realistic idea of beauty. I know and support this because being a mother of a five-year-old daughter; I have closely witnessed how the toys we choose and introduce to our children play a huge part in constructing their ideals of beauty. My daughter always picks a petite doll with blonde lustrous hair, and she roots for Maria Sharapova rather than Serena Williams during a tennis match. Perhaps, inadvertently, the toys I choose for her has begun to limit her idea of beauty and acceptance. Here, I would like to add another important observation ...

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When Serena Williams slammed stereotypes and ‘strong’ became the new ‘beautiful’

Whenever I ask my daughter who is her favourite tennis player, she would always say Maria Sharapova , Caroline Wozianski or some other blonde, beautiful and above all, white player. Whenever she is playing a game on her tablet, she would always choose a frail blonde avatar. And whenever her brother would tease her saying she looks dark, it would be taken as the ultimate sting. She has never chosen a dark-skinned doll or one with a sturdy body. It makes me wonder about the factors affecting her choices and her perception of beauty. Perhaps, the fault lies with the media, the society or ...

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Of morning shows, Nabila’s No Makeup Palette and whitewashing Pakistani women

On November 19, 2015, Nabila’s official Facebook page shared a “make over” picture showing the beauty transformation of a girl after using Nabila’s new ‘No Makeup Palette’. The picture was taken in HUM TV’s morning show. Photo: Facebook/NABILA’S The picture was disturbing on so many levels. The most prominent and applauded transformation was of the girl’s complexion. She went from a dark and dusky hue to absolutely fair and bright. The concept of the ‘no makeup look’ is a popular trend around the world. The quintessential purpose of this trend is to give the skin an even look without overdoing ...

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Till it happens to you, you don’t know how it feels

Lady Gaga’s recent music video “Till it happens to you” explores the harrowing realm of sexual assault trauma, especially when it occurs on college campus. The most debilitating aspect of on-campus rape and sexual assault is that the victims are young and vulnerable. At this stage of life, they are exploring new horizons and that includes new relationships too. Their friendly intimacy can be easily exploited and used as a weapon against them, assuming their consent in the assault. The sexual assaults mostly occur by someone familiar or within your comfort zone. So it leads to a sense of betrayal and makes it hard for the ...

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Women like Shazia Perveen don’t wait for a saviour, they are their own saviour

Her eyes were ablaze with determination and professionalism while she was all set to perform her heroic duties. The picture, in true sense of the words, spoke a thousand words. Shazia Perveen is the first female fire fighter of Pakistan and her unique choice of profession is going to change things for the women of Pakistan for better and for good. “The mighty girl” is inspirational and symbolic in many ways and a silver lining of hope in the grim situation. This unusual choice of occupation would help in pushing predefined cultural boundaries for women and help them enter into a new realm of ...

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A tribute to a police officer, from his daughter

“He is also some $%&@^ police officer,” jested a friend while talking about a recent incidence. And certain uneasiness took over me. I was not new to this uncalled for ridicule but every time it happened, it would hit me with new intensity. Part of me wanted to scream and let everyone know that I am a competent and honest police officer’s daughter and that they should stop generalising all of them. But the wiser part of me felt threatened and cornered, as it knew that everyone would nod and agree for the moment but start complaining and mocking the moment ...

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When will we start recognising our Women of Impact like the West does?

Pakistani women have done us proud again by securing a place in New York Time’s Women of Impact list 2015. The list honours outstanding women from around the world. It is diverse and interesting, bringing home the point that these individuals have managed to carve a place for themselves by standing up for the cause of women and other marginalised factions of society. Out of the 50 women given the honour, education activist Malala Yousafzai and film maker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy have bagged the 36th and 48th positions respectively, and we all know that honours and recognitions are not new to them. Both ladies have devoted their lives to ...

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The #DelhiRapist interview and the ugly truth about rape

The Delhi bus gang rape, which occurred in December 2012, redefined rape and rape victims in many ways. As we saw, masses came out for Nirabhya’s support and ended up in historic constitutional reforms. The case has once again come into spotlight with Leslee Udwin’s documentary for the BBC called India’s Daughter. The documentary revolves around rapists and rape victims and the motivation behind the heinous crime. The trailer of the documentary can be seen here. Amid constitutional hassles and fear of public outrage, the documentary has been banned by the Indian government. Although, Udwin claims she interviewed Mukesh Singh, the convicted bus driver involved in the Delhi gang rape, in jail for ...

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