Stories about white

The real (philosophical) meaning behind Taher Shah’s new single ‘Angel’

International pop sensation Taher Shah has taken the music industry by storm yet again with his eagerly awaited single ‘Angel’. Ever since his first single, emotionally dense and invoking intimacy through eye contact, we just could not get enough of his frizzy mane and white suit. His video has made a fan-girl out of everyone nationally and internationally, and we buckle at the knees upon hearing the sound of his voice. How could this talent have been lying hidden for so long? Girls want to know what shampoo he uses to maintain his lusciousness, while men want to know what tailor he gets his ...

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I stand in solidarity with Patricia Arquette

I am not a huge fan of the Oscars because nothing interesting happens during it. It’s the same old show, but recycled every year. And the only reason I’d ever watch the Oscars is because of the pretty dresses showcased by celebrities on the red carpet. I love pretty dresses.   However, this past Sunday, the Oscars took a different turn; they actually became interesting. More and more celebrities were seen talking about rights; civil rights, women rights, immigrant rights, etcetera. From John Legend’s powerful speech on the fact that there are far more black men under correctional control today than they were under slavery in 1850 to Alejandro Gonzalez’s speech which,  after ...

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The black and white of sexual harassment

The Oxford dictionary defines sexual harassment as, “Harassment (typically of a woman) in a workplace, or other professional or social situation, involving the making of unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks” Gauging from this definition, the meaning is pretty self-explanatory, isn’t it? Apparently not. I am often surprised (read: unimpressed), by the type of conversations I hear surrounding the so-called ‘dubious’ nature of sexual harassment. A few years ago, a colleague came to me saying she felt awkward by the way her now ex-boss would treat her while they were at work. She wasn’t sure if he was interested in her, or if he ...

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Yes, because we need Selena Gomez and a Jonas brother to promote Malala’s campaign

By now, most of us are well aware of the white saviour narrative that has become a ubiquitous component to the Malala Yousafzai story. By now, we have seen Malala be rightfully lauded around the world for her bravery and dedication to the cause of equal educational opportunity. By now, we are mindful of the polarising sentiments that constitute a response to Malala’s name in this country. So when a promotional video for the We Are Silent campaign, a joint venture between The Malala Fund and Free The Children, hit the airwaves last week, it was not surprising that the Malala story was once again being ...

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Whitewashing

Our names will never roll around their tongues, With the delicacy and finesse, Of the mothers who named us. After 14 hours of birth, Sweaty, sticky, spicy, sweet, tangy names with stories and secrets. Our names in foreign mouths Are like spices with unexpected Sharp thorny flavours, Spat out in discomfort, Pronounced with pain, And anglicised quickly like a cool drink of water.   So that Dureshawar becomes Rey, And my own name In my mouth Feels like a dry, flavourless biscuit. And they laugh when I can’t recognise Myself being announced at banquets. When I cannot recognise my placard On the table; When they demand I leave by the backdoor. It is always by my father’s name.   Our names will ...

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Ancholi blasts: When will we remember that the white in Pakistan’s flag represents minorities?

Another bomb blast; another attack on the Shia community. The blast in Ancholi, Federal B Area was so loud that my windows shook and the children woke up even though I live miles away. I shudder to think what must have happened to those near its epicentre. I have walked in those streets, bought things from the stores now destroyed, spoken to the residents in years past and played cricket with one of the dead victims. Now it has been reduced to rubble and dust, and become another statistic in the growing litany of acts of violence against a besieged minority. The true ...

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Concerts in Karachi: Bring back fun to this city!

I was at a Strings concert a few days ago. It was one of those fancy sit down affairs, with hideous white sofas and people taking selfies of each other to upload on social media. Bilal Maqsood began singing “mera bichra yaar” and the LCD screens behind him played a very old video from the 1990s. It was then that it hit me. Suddenly I wasn’t nodding and smiling politely to the music, but in a half built amphitheatre, I was screaming as the crème de la crème of the urban rock phenomena in Pakistan belted out their numbers. Coming up… ...

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What do Pakistan and India share? No respect for women

They call us independent, free nations. Pakistan and India, after 60 odd years of being ruled by the white man, has been unable to break free of one acute problem: The white woman. Whether it is by selling our lovely brown women fairness creams and coloured lenses or by introducing at least one beautiful American/British girl into the storyline of your favourite drama/movie, the focus on the white woman is taking a slightly grotesque turn. The line between fascination and obsession is smudged as I go through the account of a CNN report where a female student from the University of Chicago talks about being groped, ...

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White: celebrating unity and more

Dull, meaningless and unnecessary is how the colour white is generally described. Some even go as far as to negate its status as a colour. Opinions about the colour are each individual’s personal choice, but the importance of white is so immense that it can hardly be dismissed as a waste of space. Contrary to popular belief, white is not the absence of colour; rather it is the amalgamation of all the colours and theirs hues that we come across in a lifetime. Perhaps, it is the result of rote learning prevalent in our system of education, but we seem to ...

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The need to blacken the white paper

Silence on an issue as critical as drone strikes suggests some level of complicity. But mouthing off about shooting drones down, about how ‘America would have never dared to use drones on our soil had the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf been in power’ is political hogwash. These statements hope to feed sanctimonious outrage among supporters and breed a feeling of hopelessness and resentment towards the US. These tactics have never achieved anything in the past and are not likely to end drone strikes either. Earlier this year, the US Department of Justice was asked to provide the Congress legal justification for drone strikes. ...

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