For This 14th August I Will Be…

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Ushah Kazi

Married to books, in a relationship with food, playing dress up since 1993. An unabashed pop-culture junkie. Come talk movies and lifestyle with me!

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When you take a measure of all that is, and has been, 14th August can be more than another holiday. It can, and should I suppose, be a time for self-reflection. A time to learn, grow, know and eventually do better. So, for this 14th August I will be…

Inviting In Discourse: Javed Qambrani On Instagram 

Over the past two months, I have been listening to and learning from the Afro-Pakistani community. If you’ve read my dirge about racism in South Asia, then you know just how deep this rabbit hole goes. And the one thing I will say, without any strings attached, is that we need to listen to each other. 

Art has been known to give words to meaning, and meaning to words. So, for 14th August, let’s listen to an artist. Javed Qambrani is an Afro-Pakistani poet who regularly shares his works on Instagram. Among many other things, he tackles conversations about race. I hope we can all listen to his message. 

Javed Qambrani Poetry

Find him here

Listening To Artists: Ali Ashraf’s Mein Pakistan 

Speaking of art, and artists; I think all of us can appreciate the need to protect Pakistan’s artists. Particularly when they try so very hard to support all of us. This song by Ali Ashraf, featuring Haris Rao is a reminder of all that we are, and hopefully can be. 

Legitimising Grievances: Stream Churails 

There is a lot of anger to go around. And if you don’t understand why, then you haven’t been paying attention. Case in point, the response that has been directed towards Asim Abbasi’s web series, Churails. To echo the sentiments of the filmmaker himself, to equate all acts of anger without acknowledging their contexts is foolish. 

Context is everything. So, this time around, for 14th August, I will be putting everything into perspective. 

Supporting Local: Polly And Other Stories Marketplace 

There is a lot that your support can do. Whether you purchase from them, or share their stories; you can help local businesses survive. So, for this 14th August, look over the Polly and Other Stories catalogue. They are a marketplace supporting local business, artisans and creators. 

Polly and Other Stories
Chances of you finding something special on their page happen to be quite high. So, find them here

A Somber 14th August 

Obviously, this list is an attempt to see the silver lining. I hope I was able to help you do that. I hope I can help myself do that as well. But, there is much to do, and do better. Just this morning, I woke up to trans-activist Julie Khan being arrested amidst a lot of smoke and mirrors.

But, we cannot let anything dampen our spirits. Because the price of not improving is too high. So, I also want to leave you with a way to stay woke, so to speak. I have spoken about The Newsrun before, and I think that we could all use their insight right now. It is a daily newsletter that covers Pakistani news and politics. They make it a point to cover stories in an impartial and insightful way. I will personally be keeping an eye on Julie Khan’s case, via their service. 

And if you find the barking news madness a bit, well, mad, then this is a godsend. Find them here

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Emma Hayes

There I was in a hot yoga studio with plenty of bright natural light and bending myself into pretzel like positions for the very first time.

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