by Agampreet Kalra
Gender in today’s unpredictable world is seen as a trivial thing when one is talking about success and happiness. However, what we don’t understand is how much gender affects one’s success or happiness quotient. We’re told mostly that, “People who want to do something, will do it. Hurdles and problems are not a thing.” I’m sorry, but how will one manage to fly if you lock down the windows and cut off their wings?
by D Sohi
Holiday season is upon us. Summer 2018 in the UK, in particular, is a scorcher (now people can’t say it’s always raining here!). WhenI discuss holidays with friends and colleagues, I frequently return to one nagging memory – or several. I recall a trip to Italy, September 2013. The fact that I’m still listening to Italian songs and reading Italian books clearly should demonstrate my affection towards the country. There were, however, some incidences that refuse to leave my memory. The intersection of race, mother tongue and nationality snatched my attention more than I wanted it to.
by Synequeen Alasa-as
The four books of Dominic Anton's "Water" delve into the deep layers of human connection, spirituality, and the true inner-self. Anton deftly illustrates the meanings to which we live, survive, and exist. With every turning page, there is something for the lonely, and the lost, with trials merging in resilience, triumph, and fulfillment. His words carve experiences that range from themes of early childhood and parental guidance, to young adulthood and decision-making, as well as the claiming of an identity. He explores the personal with the historical, and contemporary context of the political injustices carried out in the Middle East.
by Srishti Uppal and Paridhi Puri
A persistent paradox places itself on the forefront of our mind, when we think about our world. While we see all people as equal entities, as they speak about human rights and liberty, we also see the inclination of individuals towards hatred, discord and resentment. Perhaps, the most notorious instance of the spread of malevolence reminds us of the rampant use of the fatal Bioterrorism.
Every city is like a time machine. The moment you enter it you are time travelling, sometimes to the uncertain future and sometimes to the known yet unknown past. In either case you get to open Pandora’s Box and unearth lot of secrets. – The Lost Wanderer
Sydney is home for me. With my brother living there, it is a place I go often. It also happens to be one of the cities I have had the chance to discover on my own. Devoid of the standard recommendations for tourists, I make it a point to try something new in my every trip. On my last trip I was fascinated by the concept of “walks” that Australian tourism boasted of: nature walks, beach walks, historic walks...the list was fascinating. Within seconds, the bibliophile in me thought, how about a literary walk? Surely enough, the answer was a loud yes. A little lesser known than the other walks, Sydney’s "writer’s walk" is a visual treat for any bookworm.
by D Sohi
After repeated announcements of intent to visit the UK, Donald Trump, contentious President of the United States, finally fulfilled his promise. Every announcement of intent to visit was immediately met with a backlash; one example being the petition to prevent an official welcome. The counter-argument was that he was a democratically-elected head of state, thus couldn’t have his entry blocked. The furore surrounding his election is another discussion altogether. The petition’s purpose was to vocalise disgust for how he would be afforded special treatment despite his divisive politics and questionable support networks. The possibility that the petition’s message would be panned always existed in our minds, it was merely a case of principle.
by Emaan Mujahid
I was taught to live in fear—fear of the world that lay beyond the four walls of my house. But this is not just my story—this is the story of countless women residing in Pakistan—the fourth most dangerous place in the world for females. With a soaring rate of violence against women, in 2016 the most populous of our provinces, Punjab, saw a 17% rise in rape cases and a 28% increase in honour killings, according to the Punjab gender parity report 2017. The report also stated that out of the abduction cases reported, 76% were were those of women, thus making kidnapping the most recurring crime against females in Punjab. It grieves me to say that these perturbing statistics are just one example among, the many vices females are faced with in our society.
Review by Namrata, Interview by Elizabeth Ruth Deyro
Author Chaya Bhuvaneswar was generous enough to not only give The Brown Orient the opportunity to read and review her debut collection, White Dancing Elephants, but also the chance to speak with her about the process of finishing this wonderful set of short stories, and her writing in general
by Tara Ashraf
What’s an in-between? An in-between struggles to define herself because others always want to do it for her. It’s someone whose parents tell him he acts nothing like the people back home. Or it’s a person who can’t identify their gender, adding even more confusion to their question of where they fit.
My experience became an in-between without me. I'm from the US, and my parents are from Pakistan. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been asked where I’m from, what my background is, why if I’m soooo American I don’t look like it, what my culture is, or where I was born.
Here are a few other things that only happen to in-betweens:
By D. Sohi, Blog Correspondent
The Windrush Generation in the UK has recently come to light, not through the retrospective lens of a historian, but an active resurgence of othering. Those who had boarded the SS Empire Windrush from the West Indies to Britain in 1948, were attracted to the offer of full citizenship suggested by the British Nationality Act of 1948. It seemed like a mutually beneficial partnership: post-war Britain’s infrastructure (National Health Service and London Transport) needed repairing and strengthening, and commonwealth “subjects” desired new opportunities. According to the National Archives (UK), immigration ‘increased in 1954 and had reached over 135,000 by 1961.’ With their landing cards destroyed by the Home Office, they were, and still are, at the mercy of the Home Office itself, which demands multiple forms of identification. If there are no landing cards, there is no hard evidence that they were ever here legally. Legislation from decades ago, prior to rigid immigration control, doesn’t cut it.
by Namrata, Blog Correspondent
Louisiana Catch by Sweta Vikram scared the daylights out of me, in the literal sense. No, it doesn’t talk about ghosts, vampires or of paranormal stuff you cannot see. It talks about the nightmares you see daily, the sexual offenders!
Considered to be one of the most anticipated Young Adult Debut novels of the year, Children of Blood and Bone written by Nigerian-American author Tomi Adeyemi, is an exhilarating read. Tomi Adeyemi is a creative-writing coach based in San Diego, California. Her creative writing blog has been named one of the 101 best websites for writers by Writer’s Digest. Revolving around the fantasy world of Orisha the story is based on the age old paradigm of good v/s evil and takes us to world of Zelie Adebola.
Though Zelie is the primary character and one that is simply perfect, there are other characters that make the story engaging. Apart from Zelie’s brother Tzain and the king in waiting Inan, one character that grows onto the reader is that of Princess Amari. While Zelie is depicted as a fierce warrior who is fighting for what’s her, we have Princess Amari on the other hand who is struggling to find a voice in the beginning and then gradually becomes stronger.
by D. Sohi
The recent van attack in Münster, Germany on 7th of April, 2018 witnessed the usual social media and press flurry: Who was the perpetrator? Which organisation did they belong to? They must be Muslim. Cue the influx of “solutions” from social media users on how to deal with this problem--unsettling solutions intimidating for any person of colour to read, particularly as those users are sympathetic to, or are aligned with, right and far-right organisations.
The perpetrator was reported to be mentally ill and known to the police. The perpetrator was a white German national. This did not prevent assumptions about the racial and religious background of the man responsible, prior to be release of more details on the case. In presuming that terrorists can only be brown Muslims, white terrorists and far-right European groups fly under the radar, escalating the problem.
Chup: Breaking the Silence About India’s Women by Deepa Narayan is an immensely powerful eye opener for every Indian woman and lives up to the claim on its cover "This book will hold a mirror to every Indian woman."
Deepa Narayan is an international poverty, gender and development adviser who has worked at the World Bank, the United Nations and in the non-government sector. She was named as 100 most influential global thinkers by Foreign Policy Magazine in 2011 and has some seventeen books to her credit.
by Srishti Uppal
Feminism initially laid ground in India in the mid-eighteenth century, when women began to speak out against evils of the previously existing and legal practice of Sati. Sati or suttee is an obsolete funeral custom where a widow immolates herself on her husband's pyre or takes her own life in another fashion shortly after her husband's death. Widows were often forcefully burnt alive.
However, this activism was displayed not by Indian women, but by European women settled in India as a consequence of colonialism. This initiated a trend, which has continually overshadowed present-day feminism in India.