It wasn’t that she had never heard of homosexuality; but, in her imagination, gay men and women were an exotic species, not real people who could, perchance, be fellow passengers on a bus, fellow shoppers at a mall, or a fellow beginner in a meditation class.
Each time I would look into the mirror, I would see the love handles bulging through my shirt and cringe inwardly. Mills and Boon had convinced me that my body was not loveable like that of the thin, beautiful protagonists, and thus, there would no knights coming for me on horses, now or later.
A woman can be more than something that just exists in a marital home, a woman can be more than just a beautiful body used as a mere decoration in the household. Isn't it high time we talked about the problems of the terminology used to define beauty and the association of it with sexuality if Chughtai tried doing this in 1941?
“It’s fascinating Yasmina, but also scary how sex or sexualising something can be ignited from our need for beauty that probably stirs positive emotions that we consider beautiful, such as feeling pleasure. But you know as well, desiring what we think is beautiful can generate fluidity: I can never know what I am exactly. All I know is that I was with men, and I was with women, and all of them tickled something within me. "