The boundaries are the most interesting bits. No definitions can be identified without them, and yet they themselves remain in a state of flux – neither here nor there, neither this nor that, but both, all, nothing, and so much more. None can stake their claim on the borderland; it is unseizable, enigmatic, most ungraspable. In its ambiguity it has the power to comfort the outlier at its best, and at its worst, leave bereft those who seek refuge in the absolute.
The skewed portrayal that dominates narratives about Muslim women in mainstream international media continues to sustain an atmosphere of misinformation, where donning a hijab leads society to promptly place you in a box labelled ‘Oppressed’. Taking matters into their own hands are these two certainly not silent U.S.-based Muslim women who’re doing what they can – with hijab firmly in place – to undo the dangerous stereotyping that mires the image of Muslim women of colour.
On a cold winter evening, watching a tense India vs England cricket match when your about-to-be teenager asks you these questions, you want go deep under cover inside that blanket and never come out. Not possible, of course. I see myself as the quintessential modern day mom, pal to her kids, cool, unflappable.
A year ago, just ten minutes after I had landed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. I was introduced to this young lawyer – not the least bit enthusiastic, a big critic of the law, of lawyers, of the High Court, and most importantly, of women. “Let me tell you a secret: law is not a profession for girls,” said he.
The answer depends on what feelings are evoked in you by these four words: yogi, wild, erotic and witch. Does "yogi" evoke a sense of tranquillity resulting from letting go? Or does it evoke feelings of righteous puritanism, associated with disgust for sex and sensuality? Are you repulsed by words such as "wild", "erotic" and "witch", or intrigued by them?
Suddenly, three older, high-ranking female bonobos bolted up from below, a furious blur of black fur and swinging limbs and, together with the female in estrus, flew straight for the offending males. The males scattered. The females pursued them. Tree boughs bounced and cracked. Screams on all sides grew deafening.
I was a shy kid, coming into my element only at home with my sister. I didn’t like being at social gatherings; large groups of peers or family made me go back into my shell. I never thought this would change, but like everything else, it did. I was surprised to find myself becoming a very sociable young adult, creatively inclined, and the life of any party.