Explore a featured selection of my written work below.

Dismantling Oppression with Love — HARD COPY

Women have begun to claim public spaces, as something we can see in the changing relationships with their friends.  In the cultural attempt to restrain women to their houses, an overthrow has already begun. For many, the motivation behind this is that they have seen their mother struggle in her life without friendship. We see it in popular culture where shows on feminist friendships have begun to take space, or in solidarity movements, instagram and tiktok reels. However, for women belonging to...

Pursuing Freedom in the Land of the Dalai Lama: Dharamshala

Five years ago, I took my first solo trip to Dharamshala. The trip redefined my perspective on what life was supposed to look like. What I found there laid down the foundation of my 20s; pursuit of freedom, love, and opportunities that create social impact and facilitate friendship. Life at 21 had started seeming both incredibly big and jarringly small. On one hand, I was grappling with the real-world understanding of caste, religion, class and gender inequalities and on the other, I was failing to see what impact my insignificant self could have on this. To Dharamshala, I had ventured out simply to answer these questions.

This piece, which my lovely Editor Fiona Livingston commissioned (and I am such a fan of all the work she produces) for Foyer Magazine has written work that has been directly transferred from the travel journal of a 21-year-old as she was forced to confront her big issue; what does the world mean and what is going to be her role in it.

Lucknow’s monuments bear witness to the hidden love stories of its many visitors

Residency, counted among the most popular of Lucknow’s monuments, famous for the Indian Rebellion of 1857, is a couples’ haven. It’s fascinating to see what once was a battleground for our country’s quest for freedom is now a place where the revolution of love takes place every day. Couples in Lucknow escape into many of Residency’s nooks to spend time with each other—a secret they believe their families are blissfully unaware of. In a world that defines privacy as closed doors and password-prot

Embracing Self-Love Beyond Body Positivity

When I was 16, after struggling with body dysmorphia for over half a decade, I remember thinking that I wanted to love my body, instead of constantly hating it and wishing for it to change. That was when the body positivity movement on social media really picked up. One piece of advice I saw repeated everywhere was asking you to look at yourself naked in a full-length mirror, an act that can encourage self-love.

So every time I would come back from a shower, I would just look at myself. My moth

Everything I Wore For My First Diwali In The UK

Since childhood, I’ve been obsessed with looking at calendars, particularly because there are so many holidays in India. I remember one year we had more holidays than school days because of the number of festivals we celebrated. Indians honour a multitude of holidays, irrespective of the religion each one belongs to, but if there’s one that we celebrate with everything we’ve got, it’s Diwali

For me, Diwali (also known as the festival of lights) was the time when all my friends were home for the

“As a Muslim Indian woman, Ms Marvel makes me feel seen at last”

A Muslim South Asian girl as a superhero? In some multiverse, there’s a teenage me squealing with joy at Disney+’s newest Marvel show, Ms Marvel. As an Indian Muslim woman who has grown up watching Marvel movies, I’ve waited a long time for this representation, and in the character of Kamala Khan, it has been worthwhile.

As an Indian Muslim, my first reaction to watching the show was of scepticism; would a Western audience tolerate this much south Asian-ness? Yet at no point has it felt that th

Are dating apps in India designed to make us swipe right on privilege?

Bumble, Tinder, OkCupid, Happn, Hinge, TrulyMadly, Woo and Badoo are just a few of the many dating apps in India that have become all the rage in recent times. We all know the gist: Modern life leaves hardly any time for organic connections to grow, and apps are convenient to fight off the ephemeral feeling of loneliness. You have the information required to assess an individual and see whether you can connect with them at your fingertips. If you have been on the apps, you know it’s a split-seco

Bollywood item songs are being reclaimed by women to strip them of their sexism

At an all-girls college, sixty small groups of teenagers are scattered across the hallway. The teachers have all left, likely in search of some semblance of peace for a few hours, as the girls continue to sway to the beats vibrating throughout the auditorium. Presently, the music system is commandeered by a student body representative, and without warning, the thumping strains of Sheila Ki Jawaani are blasting through the hall. Everyone from the age of 15 to 18 is fervently singing along to this

Meritocracy isn’t working for Muslim women in India - Missing Perspectives

Women with Hindu-sounding names received twice as much attention from hiring recruiters than women with Muslim-sounding names, studies show.

In June 2022, a social organization called Led By that offers professional mentoring for Muslim women, conducted a study where researchers sent out resumes with the names “Priyanka Sharma” and “Habiba Ali”. Over a period of eight months, every call back Habiba, the Muslim woman, got, Priyanka, the Hindu woman, got two.

The hiring bias, comparing majo

Outrage at jail sentence for UK woman who had late-term abortion - Missing Perspectives

In Britain, abortions are only legal up to 23 weeks and 6 days. The woman terminated her pregnancy later than the 24-week legal allowance by using pills that she ordered via a telehealth-style postal service that offered patients at-home medical .

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service said that the mother kept her actual pregnancy term hidden and claimed it to be under ten weeks. A court heard that the woman was unsure of how far along she was when she took the pills. She was imprisoned for 28

'No One To Help Us': Why Indian Students Are Struggling To Find Jobs in UK

"When I moved to the UK to study, I was not expecting the political situation to be so anti-working class. It makes me feel that I am not wanted here for anything apart from my money – neither for my work nor as a student," Kriti Singhal (name changed to protect identity), who is working part-time while completing her Master's at the London School of Economics, told The Quint. Every year, the UK has the highest number of Indians (whether students or job-seekers) migrating to the country – more s

I've spent over £40,000 to study in London as an international student

I’ve spent over £40,000 to study in London as an international student

I’ve spent over £40,000 to study in London as an international student

I stood still on the central London pavement as I tried to work out the cheapest way to get home.

‘I live in Islington, so I could walk to either Warren Street or Tottenham Court Road station and get the Tube,’ I thought to myself. ‘But that is almost twice as much as what the bus would cost.’

It would be a 27-minute walk, but I had already walked 6,00

People called Lucknow (short story)

Popular definitions of Lucknow refer to its famed etiquette, refined culture and gastronomy. After all, for a long time, Lucknow has been one of those few cities in our country that have been a safe haven for great architecture, literature, music and food; where various forms of art and craft have blossomed. However, the newer times have opened up this Awadhi melting pot to fresh aspirations and negotiations. People called Lucknow characterises this rich multifaceted mosaic of the city, with 45 stories. And one of them is about a Prince residing in his castle in Lucknow and his deep connection with the language of the city and the world.

#DesiBooksReview 2: Fateema’s House of Her Own

“We don’t want to sell this house to a Mohammadan.” My father was too shocked to respond and a sob escaped my mother. She kept repeating how this was not the India where she’d grown up. I sat there disappointed, but not surprised. My parents had found their dream house after five years of searching but, more than the loss of a house, this served as a painful reminder of a Muslim’s place in today’s India. It broke our hearts to be reminded that there is a huge population in our country that would

“Antiman” Takes Us on a Journey through Continents and Identities, Borders Be Damned

Rajiv Mohabir’s memoir, Antiman, takes us on a journey through the United States, India, Canada, and Guyana. While the author does not physically take us to Guyana, it would be unfair to not include it because we travel there through Aji’s songs. Aji, Rajiv’s paternal grandmother, is central to this memoir because Rajiv identifies strings that weave the narrative of his life into the songs she sings. Rajiv’s ancestors were Indians who were sent to Guyana by Britishers. During British rule, some

[App Fridays] This anti-cheating app lets you fund your foreign education, travel with just a simple test

After receiving another scholarship rejection, I fervently looked for opportunities to fund my education for a prestigious college abroad without taking out a loan.

At 24, the idea of being in debt made me uneasy. In an economy hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, funding higher education is a mammoth task that burdens the students.

I came across Bengaluru-headquartered Mokusei Intelligence and its founder Ashish Bohora. I visited the website, and two hours later — after falling down the rabbi

Toying with Social Conditionings

When you walk into a toy store to buy toys for the cute little monster in your house, the first thing you ask the shopkeeper is to show you toys according to the gender of the child you’re buying them for. For a girl, they usually show you Barbie sets where the Barbie is either standing next to a washing machine, or next to a fancy overpriced kitchen set, or maybe a huge iron, or a fake hair curler, or even a plastic baby. You might also be shown a jewelry-making box but maybe, the shopkeeper mi

A little bit of Dancing

Varisha Tariq, a second-year at Ashoka, shares an intimate story about her empowering experience with dance. A shoutout to all those women out there who let nothing hold them back!

I am not a dancer. At least not one who can perform graceful and aesthetically pleasing moves. I am a messy dancer, and if you have seen me on the dance floor then you know that I dance in a slightly vulgar and completely unrestrained manner.

I used to dance a lot when I was younger. In fact, my very first political

Islamophobia In The Times Of A Pandemic

We are living in a deeply political and critical time. Prior to the pandemic, COVID-19, that has now gripped the entire world, India was going through a massive shift in its political grounds. To say that we were in a position of crumbling as a nation because of the massive economic and social crisis would still be an understatement because we have actually been in this position for quite a long time. And the layer that covers the entire crisis looks a lot like communal hatred or Islamophobia wh

Women! It Is Time To Infiltrate Into The Tech World

Technology is constantly evolving and diversifying into more and more fields. There are new gadgets, equipment, designs that are not only making the world a bit more convenient but also giving us an enhanced experience of everything around us. Professionally speaking this is the field that is also pulling the most money and constantly growing. It is no hidden truth that technology is also the field that is not easily accessible to women. Women in India experience several barriers that usually hi

Book Review: Baluta By Daya Pawar

Baluta, a book written by famous Dalit Maharashtran poet and writer Daya Pawar, is one of the first Dalit autobiographies in India. Written in Marathi in the year 1978 the book casts light not only on the act of untouchability and atrocities committed on the Mahar community in Maharashtra but also brings out the pride that the Dalit community holds for itself. It reflects, personally, on Pawar’s own failings as a person, the intersectional women in his life and how caste boundaries remain wherev

Film Review: Yeh Ballet Pushes Us To Work A Little Harder For Our Dreams

Yeh Ballet is a Sooni Taraporevala film that is based on her documentary Ballet Boys. Ballet Boys and by extension Yeh Ballet are films based on the lives of Amiruddin Shah and Manish Chauhan. These two young artists made their way out of the struggling life in Mumbai into the ballet world. Amiruddin Shah made into the Oregon Ballet Theatre in United states of America while Manish Chauhan joined Royal Ballet School in London.

The film is extraordinary for its ordinary portrayal of the struggle,
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