31 Day Challenge October, Poetry

Day 5: Lessons learnt from ‘Time’

  I've been waiting an age. I need you desperately. Each time a tribulation stands before me, I'm reminded of how incapable my girl shoulders are. My mind wanders to you - no matter how many times I admonish it - wishing you were here to show me the right way and hold me up.… Continue reading Day 5: Lessons learnt from ‘Time’

31 Day Challenge October

Day 4: ‘Candy Wrapper’, kind of.

Forget multi-tasking, I can't even do two things at once these days. I tried putting my seat belt on and instead, swallowed the chewing gum I'd only just popped into my mouth. So much for trying to avoid car sickness. For the rest of the journey, I could feel the ball of gum lodged in… Continue reading Day 4: ‘Candy Wrapper’, kind of.

31 Day Challenge October, Poetry

Day 3: ‘Horses’, ghodiya da shonk

Image credit: Souq Jaidah, Qatar Join the October writing challenge *** The evening sun settling into my hair; brown eyes glittering reflections of Kashmiri mountains against the horizon. Nestled amid valleys of white gold, our small yet cosy home My own little vegetable patch Your vehicles of choice lined up outside Our children's giggles skipping… Continue reading Day 3: ‘Horses’, ghodiya da shonk

31 Day Challenge October, Fiction

Day 2: ‘Hunger’ a cautionary tale

Image credit: Klaus Pichler Join the October writing challenge *** Before anyone could follow, she hurried over to a particularly crowded corner of her bedroom. It wasn't that she felt worried about what she was hiding, more that she didn’t want her secret hiding places discovered by others. Anyone could walk in and catch her;… Continue reading Day 2: ‘Hunger’ a cautionary tale

31 Day Challenge October, Poetry

Day 1: in praise of an ‘Angel’

Join the October writing challenge *** They said they couldn't reach a point of compromise with you. That it was because you didn't seem to have that same affection for them, the kind that came so naturally to you for me. But I think they're liars. I think they saw too much of me in… Continue reading Day 1: in praise of an ‘Angel’

Original Writing, Poetry

I See Kashmir Burning (poem)

What price for those verdant valleys which my mothers traversed for fire logs What price for those babbling brooks that watered cattle and crops for centuries What price for the ever-fertile soil, the one they say delivers gold What price for the land my grandfathers walked away from with moist eyes, tight lips, even harder… Continue reading I See Kashmir Burning (poem)

Academia, The B Word

On Writing: Finding the will to carry on

When school ended two weeks ago and I found myself with ample time to write, I envisioned myself as this super productive being who would tick everything off her To Do list while simultaneously updating her blog every third day. Instead, I found that actually, all this free time was counter productive. Apparently, I write… Continue reading On Writing: Finding the will to carry on

Living in Qatar, The Expat Experience

I got nothing, or, Ramadan Kareeeeem

Okay...mmmhh, this is awkward. I had three blog posts drafted, waiting to be polished (I'm OCD like that), and then BAM! I got nothing. I can't post any of them anymore. Because of the current political climate, they're suddenly outdated and potentially risky to share. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing controversial in there. They're… Continue reading I got nothing, or, Ramadan Kareeeeem

Living in Qatar, The Expat Experience

The Big Move to Qatar (Part 2)

[Read Part 1] I haven't done one of these living in Qatar posts for a while but I figured I've been here long enough to write a proper update as opposed to little snippets in other posts. Dearest hubby, my editor, proof reader, and biggest fan all rolled into one, suggested I hold off until the summer… Continue reading The Big Move to Qatar (Part 2)

Diasporic Identity, On Brit-Asian Culture

I’m an oppressed Muslim woman?

Earlier this week it was International Women's Day and like all other days - Mother's day, Father's day, Independence day - it was difficult to acknowledge the day let alone engage in any discussions. You see, my problem isn't with the day nor with those who celebrate it, my problem is with the fight. Commemorative… Continue reading I’m an oppressed Muslim woman?

Diasporic Identity, On Brit-Asian Culture

Homeless daughters of a hybrid diaspora

The cursor blinks expectantly. You wonder, shall I begin with I ‘returned’ home or I’ve been 'away’ from home? At the airport, we try muting our pain through feeble consolations. You will be back next summer, it’s just a year. No. I have holidays in January.   That's good… I'll be back before you know… Continue reading Homeless daughters of a hybrid diaspora

Living in Qatar, The Expat Experience

Memories of an Empire: Museum of Islamic Art

From a young age, I was always fascinated with history and I especially loved hearing stories about perished nations. That strange blend of awe and terror never leaves you; in fact I think I will carry it to the grave. Those people leading lives not too different from ours, people who formed some of the greatest civilisations… Continue reading Memories of an Empire: Museum of Islamic Art

Diasporic Identity, Unspoken

Finding resonance in Iqbal’s poetry

It's 2009. I am Kashmiri but I've never heard of Dr Allama Iqbal. I've been taught daughters are lesser than sons, that choice in marriage is rebellion, and honour upheld solely through submission. But things that would've built my character, intellect or faith were not deemed important...so, I've never heard of Iqbal. Being the product… Continue reading Finding resonance in Iqbal’s poetry

Living in Qatar, The Expat Experience

Jummah at Aspire Mosque

If you've been wondering why the Jummah updates have vanished it's because of a little blue gem called Aspire mosque. For the last three Fridays, this is the place we have prayed Jummah at. The mosque is small in comparison to Grand Mosque and Education City, but what it lacks in size it more than… Continue reading Jummah at Aspire Mosque

Being Mrs. Kubra

My first ‘first’ week at school

I'm gearing up for the first week of school except I've already had my first week at school. Confusing? Yep, I know. The school holidays work differently here because term times revolve around Islamic festivals - alhamdullilah! All staff resumed work with a staggered start: first the senior leadership team, then new starters, and finally… Continue reading My first ‘first’ week at school

Living in Qatar, The Expat Experience

Jummah at Education City Mosque

One of the best things about living in a Muslim country is having Fridays off, and last Friday we went to pray jummah at the gorgeous Education City mosque. Education City is home to campuses of six American universities, one British university, the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Science, and various educational institutes accommodating students from preschool… Continue reading Jummah at Education City Mosque

Diasporic Identity, On Brit-Asian Culture

The Oldham Riots: 15 years on

Let me just get this out there: it's a really bad idea to complete a dissertation about your hometown whilst preparing to leave. It's even worse if you already harbour a love/hate relationship with the place! I spent the summer reading about the 2001 Oldham riots which, until now, were fuzzy recollections of newspaper stills… Continue reading The Oldham Riots: 15 years on

Academia, The B Word

On Writing: dissertation struggles

I've been working on my dissertation (by 'working' I mean thinking a lot and writing very little), and my brain is aching! I need to write something - anything - before my mind explodes. Ramadan coincided with the start of the summer holidays. It's super hard to switch your brain on during these long summer… Continue reading On Writing: dissertation struggles


the ‘world’ of ‘world literature’ : a presentation by zoya kubra

* Pheng Cheah, What is a World? On Postcolonial Literature as World Literature (Duke University Press, 2016) what is a world? -subordination of all global regions to GMT as point zero for time = European colonial domination of whole world. -a form of imprisonment that smothers lived local temporalities. The world calendar: based on European/Christian Gregorian calendar,… Continue reading the ‘world’ of ‘world literature’ : a presentation by zoya kubra

Academia, The B Word

On Writing: productivity and inactivity

The beginning of 2016 had me swinging between productivity and inactivity. Productive in completing errands that are (extremely) dull but necessary in order to live, and putting off tasks that are enjoyable (reading for pleasure, writing with purpose) but only possible in a dream world where all the aforementioned don't exist. In short, I have… Continue reading On Writing: productivity and inactivity