I find it funny that the ALS ice bucket challenge is trending at this very time because man if I get nominated and do it MY HAIR WILL LITERALLY FALL OUT ON VIDEO
I went to my grandfather’s grave for the first time this day last week. It is a few steps away from his son’s grave, both built into the side of a hill overlooking the south of Karachi. Not a bad place to rest, I’ve always thought.
Death in the city has its similarities with life; it is chaotic, cramped, with the marble and tiled memorials of the privileged interspersed with the gravelly soil and crumbling bricks of the beds of the poor. The old taking their place amongst far too many heartbreakingly small graves.
I did not cry when I visited his wife’s grave an hour before that, which I remember better than her face in life, having visited it every year of my life bar the past seven. I did not cry when my father began to, upon seeing the site for the first time. I did not cry while I read the customary Quranic verses. Then my cousin handed me a bag of rose petals to shower on the site, and I could not move my hand. That is when I cried. The finality of it. Prayers are read for the living as well; rose petals are not sprinkled for them. I cried because the last time I was in this city, this man was alive. And I do not know when I will visit him next. My other grandfather I have not and cannot visit at all; the cemetery he requested to be buried in is in an ‘unsafe’ part of town, and I, being a foreigner, am not to go there. I am envious of my cousins who were there at the end, at the last rites for both of my grandfathers; they were useful to them, which I did not get the chance to be.
Later that night I had a dream I was surrounded by children with familiar faces, and I was crying because these were the children of my cousins, my family, who I was meeting for the first time, because I had returned to the country after 31 years (I remember the exact number for some reason).
These are the things we migrants fear, the things we endure. Even now I know at least some of the people I have seen this trip, I may not see again. I know I will miss weddings, births, I will miss namings, first words, graduations, I will meet new family members whose names I do not know and who do not know me. Even in the era of easy communication, distance takes its toll. It has taken me years to understand the weight of it, but I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to come to terms with it. Except I will, won’t I? Because one way or another, we all do.
"The word punch is a loanword from Hindi panch meaning ‘five’. The drink was originally made using five ingredients: alcohol, sugar, lemon, water, and tea or spices. The drink was brought to England from India by sailors and employees of the British East India Company in the early 17th century….
Guys how does one undergo cosmetic surgery without feeling like a vain, self-centred prick help I do not know
Take a facet of crime, and then look at television shows/movies that feature those criminals as protagonists.
White serial killers.
White political corruption
White drug dealers
I mostly want to talk about this as a TV phenomenon, but pick a crime, any crime, and Western media has probably made a movie/TV series/play/etc. with a white person that romanticizes the criminal activity. No matter what, a white person can do whatever terrible crimes and still have a TV/movie fanbase that loves them.
When you see black or brown people committing crimes on screen, you are to see them thugs and criminal masterminds and people to be beat down.
When you see white people committing crimes on screen, you see a three-dimensional portrait of why someone might commit that crime, how criminals are people too, and how you should even love them for the crimes that they commit because they’re just providing for their families or they’ve wronged or they’re just people and not perfect. This is particularly a luxury given to white male characters, since there few white female criminals as protagonists.
If and of the above shows were about black or brown folks, there would be a backlash of (white) people claiming that TV and movies are romanticizing criminals and are treating them too much like heroes and that it will affect viewers and encourage violence and “thuggish” behavior. And yet fictional white criminals get to have a deep fanbase who loves these white criminals, receive accolades and awards, get called amazing television that portray the complexities of human nature. Viewers of these characters see past the atrocious crimes and into their humanity, a luxury that white characters always have while characters of color rarely do. The closest that mainstream TV has come to showing black criminals as main characters is probably The Wire, and even then, the criminals share equal screen time and equal status as main characters as the police trying to stop them.
The idea that crime can be so heavily romanticized and glorified to such a degree is undoubtedly a privilege given to white characters. The next time you hear someone talk about Dexter Morgan or Walter White in a positive way, it may be an opportunity to rethink how white people can always able to be seen as people no matter what they do, while everyone else can be boiled down to nothing but a criminal.
I always felt extremely uncomfortable with this trope because, not only is it racist, but it tends to feed into the already too common propensity society has to humanize, romanticize and exonerate irrevocably terrible white men. Like if you’re a white man and you commit awful crimes, you will likely go down in history as a legendary celebrity and historical figure