“Try as I did, I wasn’t able to separate Pakistan from India and India from Pakistan. Again and again, troubling questions rang in my mind: Will Pakistan’s literature be separate from that of India’s? If so, how? Who owns all that was written in undivided India? Will that be partitioned too? Are India’s and Pakistan’s core problems not the same? Will Urdu be totally wiped out in India? What shape will it take here in Pakistan? Will our state be a religious one? We’ll defend the state at all cost, but does that mean we won’t have permission to criticize it’s government? As an independent country, will our condition be different from what it was under the British?”

(Manto didn’t just regret his decision to go to Pakistan; it destroyed him.)

Aatish Taseer, you are making me cry.

Purakaunui Falls

This three-tiered waterfall is described as the most photographed waterfall in New Zealand. It’s found on the Purakaunui River, near the southern tip of South Island, in an area known as the Catlins Forest Park.

The falls are pouring over sedimentary rocks formed in the Miocene, about 20 million years ago. Much of what is today New Zealand was submerged at the time and this area existed as a shallow submarine platform. Sand grains eroded from the part of the subcontinent that was above water level combined with carbonate sands, the remnants of eroded shells and corals, to create these rocks. Today they have been lithified and uplifted by the tectonic forces that brought New Zealand above the Pacific Ocean waters.


Image credit: Tom Hall


“14 August: Kis ki Azadi?”

Queer Zenana (Pakistani queer feminist anti-colonial anti-nationalist politics):

My grandparents are the only people in my family who lack patriotism. They are also the only people who witnessed partition, who migrated from Indian Punjab to Lahore a few days after the bloody subcontinent was split into a bloody India and an even bloodier Pakistan.

Nana Abu is vocal about questioning this new state-produced, army-generated nationalism that, according to him, does not at all resemble the spirit of those who fought for independence. Nani Ami on the other hand, is silent. She refuses to partake in these celebrations of oblivion, but she also does not correct our misguided understanding of history.

Nana Abu tells me that he finds it difficult to understand why his grandchildren dress up and sing and blow up crackers on the day that only revives traumatic memories of violence and hatred for him. It is easy for him to talk about how his cousin was shot by a Sikh man, and how his family lost all their belongings after their village was invaded by a frenzied mob. But his voice cracks and stumbles when he confesses how he was involved in opening fires on Hindu neighbors, on old friends. How does political rhetoric transform one’s desires, one’s attachments to land and people? I want to ask him this, but I don’t think he knows the answer.

Nani Ami says nothing. There is nothing for her say during partition stories. She was there, she was migrating along with her family, but her worth was murdered as Pakistan was born. Nation, state, army, Jinnah, Islam, Pakistan, all stood up to sow her lips shut. If they could, they would’ve sowed her vagina shut too, to prevent her vulnerable body from bringing shame on Pakistan. 14th August 1947: When my grandmother was rendered non-human. She was made into a mere symbol of religious nationalism that her brothers and uncles and the Muslim League could use for their own nationalistic purposes. Unlike thousands of other women, she reached Pakistan unharmed, untouched by enemy men. She was protected by the freedom fighters because her body was now suddenly Pakistan. They had to protect it –not to spare her of trauma and pain– but to satisfy their honor-obsessed nationalistic appetites.

During these partition stories, Nani Ami only looks up and nods when my aunt mentions how during the war, fathers were willingly burning their daughters’ bodies to “protect” them from rape. I want Nani Ami to elaborate, but she merely keeps nodding.

14th August 1947: When killing daughters seemed a more honorable deed than risking their rape. When different groups of independence fighters threatened each other’s ownership by stealing women.
When chants of La ilaha ilallah rang in the air. What such chants actually screamed: Pakistan ka matlab kya: land is more worthy than a woman. Pakistan ka matlab kya: escape oppression to create a more varied kind of state-sanctioned oppression.

14th August 1947: When Pakistan and India weren’t actually warring for freedom from anyone. They were simply competing to create more oppressions: who could marginalize more and more groups of people? The winner would get ample rewards from the capitalist global economy half a century later.

14th August, this year: We continue to celebrate the freedom of the heterosexual Punjabi patriarchal Sunni man but don’t give a fuck about Balochistan getting plundered by our military forces, or the Afghan immigrants losing their kachay homes at the hands of the state, or the Khwaja Sira folks getting killed and raped and forgotten, or the Ahmedi patients being refused treatment, or the women being shamed and mocked and molested and killed, or about the Dalit communities still entrapped in caste-based violence. 

14th August 1947: when certain men fought for “freedom” but didn’t give a fuck about others’ basic right to exist as humans.

14th August 1947: When nationalistic men started to confuse women’s bodies with land. Raping women equaled invading land. Why does nation-incited zeal make men rape?

14th August 1947: When the air rung with low-pitched chants of freedom. Male voices. Male freedom attained by forcefully grinding Nation to Woman until the two merged into a new-found thing called Culture.

14th August 1947: When women were talked about only for the sake of political sensationalism. When women’s bodies were incised by border-making. When even the few progressive men like Manto decided to use narratives of silent raped bodies in order to shock and shame the mainstream, without really doing anything about the silence, about the rape, about their own male gaze. [Sometimes left-wing masculinity is just as toxic as majoritarian masculine nationalism]

14th August 1947: When many manly wars were fought: between the Muslim nationalists and the Hindu nationalists; between the Muslim nationalists and the anti-partition Muslims; between the Muslim nationalists and the Muslim left-wing anti-nationalists. But all these manly wars used women as symbols, as things, as property, as nation, as theories.
So when I talk to Nana Abu, I hear him talk of enmity between Muslims and Hindus, of the unjustifiable violence of both sides, of how war makes one mad. But I do not hear about the erasure of women. I do not hear about how all of this 14th August mess– the nationalistic mess the army reveres as a fight for “justice,” as well as the mess of anti-nation ideology that questions Pakistan’s warped purpose– erased (and still continues to erase) women.

This is why Nani Ami refuses to talk, refuses to cry. Perhaps she knows that if she cried, her pain would be misused to serve another theory of nation and culture. Perhaps she foresees how her narrative would get twisted into one of nation-land and Hindu oppression and la ilaha ilallah. Perhaps she understands that neither the Pakistani state, nor Jinnah, nor Manto, nor her grandchildren with their green and white painted faces really ever cared about her.


to this day,

quiet she remains.

There’s an alleged historical painting from the Subcontinent of Sultan Mahmud Ghazni having penetrative sex with his beloved slave Malik Ayaz with (what must be) a Farsi description written above and I can’t believe it? Is it really real? There’s a detailed landscape behind both men and the painting is Mughal-esque in nature and it’s unbelievable like…an artist from the time actually sat and took the time to paint that in all its detailed glory, adding aesthetics and everything? And no one had an issue? Instead Mahmud and Ayaz’s homosexual romance was *supposedly* celebrated in the Islamic society at the time? Subhan'Allah, truly.


NEW POST: The Temples of Bali

The last day of our Balinese adventure was dedicated to the temples of the island. Coined as ‘Island of the Gods’, the revered island province of Bali is known for its verdant forested mountains, iconic rice paddies, and beaches and coral reefs. Unlike most of Muslim-majority cities of Indonesia, about 85% of the total population of Bali adheres to Balinese Hinduism - a combination of local beliefs and the Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

This is just one of the reasons why Bali stands out.


Basics of Roma culture

For those ignorant who may not know because they ignorant.

The Roma language is the most obvious indicator of the origin of the Roma population. The language is closely related to early modern languages of central and northern India, and appears to have separated from them in the second half of the first millennium CE. This is usually considered the time period during the which the ancestors of today’s Roma population moved out of India, ultimately to reach Anatolia and southeastern Europe and subsequently other regions of the European continent.

The origin of Roma cultural practices is much less obvious. Some observers, activists and even some researchers have tended to search for similarities between the culture of the Roma and those of the Indian subcontinent in dress, food preparation, music, dance, burial customs, and more. On the other side, a well-established tradition of research in social anthropology has been able to identify countless similarities between the socio-economic organisation of the Roma as (traditionally) a peripatewtic or travelling community, and the customs and beliefs of travelling communities of non-Indian origins. Finally, Roma culture is influenced by contacts with the respective settled populations.

Roma society is based around the group of close kin, which in most traditional Roma communities forms a single household. In settled communities, members of the extended family share living quarters. In traveling communities extended families travel together and share resting sites. Regardless of type of dwelling, the extended family is the unit within which resources are shared, work is organised, and food is prepared and shared. The typical household unit will include the head of the family and his wife, their married sons and daughters-in-law (borja) with their children, as well as unmarried sons and daughters and occasionally divorced or widowed daughters who return to the parental household.

Beyond the extended kin group, most Roma identify as belonging to a ‘nation’ or specific ethnic sub-group. This includes kin groups that may or may not be directly related but share external features such as the specific variety of the Roma language, a particular dress code, such as the type of headscarf or apron, length and style of skirt, and hairstyle, for women, or the style of hat, and presence and style of moustache, among the men. The ‘nation’ or ethnic sub-group often shares a traditional region of settlement or origin, as well as a typical profile of occupations and trades.

In southeastern Europe, ethnic sub-groups tend to derive their names from their traditional or historical trade. Sometimes, group names are derived from the region of settlement or the religion adopted by the group.Members of an ethnic sub-group or ‘nation’ usually intermarry. They tend to share customs surrounding important life-cycle events such as birth, marriage, and burial, as well as festivities, and they often share values, attitudes and fashions in a variety of domains. An ethnic sub-group usually shares the same kind of leadership and conflict-resolution structures. Members of the ethnic sub-group have a duty to attend burials of other members, even if they were not personally acquainted with the deceased or their close family.


Last test of the summer blues :(

The result didn’t go the way I wanted, but it was a fun test to watch and the result reflected the series pretty well. 

Also it was nice to have a Pakistan series which didn’t end horribly/was overshadowed by terrible things and bullshit. Summed up by the two captains at the end, which was really really nice to see.

Some great performances from some and some growing up needed to be done by others (we all know who those are).

Roll on the subcontinent and a reminder how bad England are at playing spin!

(Also lovely to see @bibliolicious, @sirlampsy211 and @abbcce)

AFC Cup - Bengaluru FC's AFC Cup campaign hostage to scheduling as adept Rovers await

Anticipation and excitement are two sentiments that Bengaluru FC and their legion of Indian fans will dive into, in just over 21 day’s time. 

The Blues will grapple Tampines Rovers in a two-legged Asian Football Confederations (AFC) Cup quarter-final bout that will be hosted on 14th and 21st of September. This is the furthest the current I-League champions have ventured in a continental stage competition, with their previous campaign in the AFC’s second tier tournament ending at their Round of 16 tie against South China. 

For the Subcontinent’s aspect of football, which is undergoing a shift in paradigm over the proposed roadmap of Indian football, having venerable representation on the continental stage will come as an important alleviant.  However, a sense of premonition will no doubt grip the first-time quarter-finalists. These fears will happen on two fronts.

Firstly, the Steelmen head into this tie with little to no match rhythm in comparison to their opponents from Singapore.  Many will rightly point to the planning of the Indian football calendar, which demarcates the first six-months of the year to the hosting of the nations primary domestic competition, the I-League. 

The later months, the real grinding time for the AFC Cup competitors, are ususally planned for the Indian Super League (ISL). So, by the time the AFC Cup knockouts approach, almost of the players have linked up with their ISL teams.

Bengaluru FC have avoided that quandary this time by refusing to release their players at this moment in time for the world’s fourth most attended competition. Yet, with players reporting to the club from their vacations last month for the pre-season is the only preparation time for the Jindal Steel Works (JSW) owned team. 

The Southern India-based side has already played two practice matches, but the nature of the opposition is more callow than reputed, something that will not have elevated the confidence of the staff, despite the results. 

The situation at Singapore is the polar opposite. The Royal Stags are in the middle of their S-League season, with them having played 19 domestic matches and they currently sit second in the table. They are a well-oiled machine, with their striker Jordan Webb leading the team’s scoring chart, with a 10 goal haul. The domestic season is usually 27 matches long and lasts the entire year. Although they have a new manager in Akbar Navas at the helm, he has had sufficient time with the squad to choose his best team.

Although the Southeast Asian side faces a stern test on the injury front themselves, it’s game-time that their squad has no problem in attesting to.  

Bengaluru FC have lost out valuable match practice and head into this all important and possibly season defining tie without any cohesion. Their all-Indian scoring trident will need all the match time they can get, preferably against higher-level opposition, to ensure they can atleast be on the same page heading into a fisticuff with the Stags

A second sticking point is the lack of embedding their newly appointed coach, Albert Roca, has faced in the lead up to the tie. 

Having been appointed just last month, the former Barcelona coach is still implementing his style and methods on a squad that had been adapted and fine-tuned to Ashley Westwood’s methods for three seasons. Not only this, Roca and his staff have to ensure the foreign players, two from Spain and one from Australia, understand the level of competition they play in and ease them into action. Roca will hope that Westwood and Bengaluru FC’s selection of their Indian players click.

It’s a testing time for any coach, and though one would fancy the extremelly experienced coach to get his eggs evenly distributed in his baskets, one can’t help but feel the AFC Cup quarter-final tie arrives too soon for a coach who may not like having his hands tied behind his back, blindfolded and lead into a narrow, cramped and obstacle laden alley.

Having already witnessed Rovers being defeated by Mohun Bagan in the competition, in an AFC Champions League qualifier, Bengaluru FC will have their tails up and analyzing every small detail of their opposition. 

The caveat? V. Sundramoorthy, the then manager of Rovers, blamed only one reason for the Rovers losing their tie that time - NO match practice. 

anonymous asked:

Pakistani fan here. I wouldn't qualify Kamala as either mixed race OR ethnicity given the deeply intertwined subcontinent history shared between the two countries. The two nation theory on the basis of which the partition happened? The key point was that Indian Hindu's and Indian Muslims are two different nations because they have different religions. They have so many things in common but THAT'S what separates them. So yeah, that's why I feel Kamala wouldn't qualify.

Thank you.

We will respect this and won’t be putting Kamala up onto the blog.

Matthew Hayden feels Australia will struggle against spin on the tour of India

Matthew Hayden feels Australia will struggle against spin on the tour of India

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Matthew Hayden. (© Getty Images)

The subcontinent teams have struggled to find their feet on pitches in England, Australia and South Africa and it has been quite a highlighted issue as the incompetence of their batsmen to play against quality pace bowling attack in seaming conditions but at the same time the teams from the above-mentioned nations have also struggled to tackle spin when the tour…

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How would it feel to be the last fluent speaker of a dying language? I watched a National Geographic documentary by filmmaker Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee today about such a woman. There are over 130 aboriginal languages in the U.S inching close to extinction and it makes me wonder about these last remaining speakers. What a strange and surreal feeling, what a sense of dissolution.

But the most amazing thing has happened and it fills my heart with some sort of proxy pride. It makes my belief in oral history and the archiving of intangible forms of memory-keeping that much stronger. Marie Wilcox has begun writing down her words, the phonetics, recording the sounds and typing bits of language into a computer for what she hopes will be a learning tool for those interested in it in the future.

Headphones on, recorder playing, she begins with a story in her native tongue- ‘A long time ago’, she says, ‘there were no people, only animals.’ Her language, like the old languages of the subcontinent, ties together myth and fantasy, fact and fiction. 'It feels weird…no one seems to want to learn my language.’ she says when asked about its inevitability.

When I was in Lahore, I had a similar experience. A woman spoke to me in a tongue that was not my own nor had I learnt it, but I understood nonetheless. So seamless was this understanding that I barely even realized it was a dialect different to my own. Her granddaughter told me later that the language her nani spoke was a rare one, a lost one, a language lingering and inching towards extinction. That day I learnt that, despite myself, my upbringing and linguistic past had conditioned my ear to understanding Samanishahi, a language from Samana in the once princely state of Patiala.