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from wreeviews

my god what a journey it has been. Recently, second season of Lady Parts dropped, and OMG what an explosive season this has been.

from the brilliant mind of Nida Manzoor comes the desi diaspora representation I wish I had in my childhood. it is brilliant because it doesn’t claim to be a portmanteau of desi culture, but it focuses more on the identity of the second and maybe third generation of the diaspora. they ARE british, but their baggage of being brown without pandering to people living in global south has been superbly executed. it is also the experience of being muslim. and the diverse cast has been able to put up something heartfelt that tugs at your heartstring.

the first season has been mindblowing. I have discovered it because i keep looking for offbeat series, and then Nida debuted her feature film – Polite Society, and to see desi women doing action while donning anarkali has healed something in me i never thought needed healing.

But Lady Parts is something else altogether. Western studios suck at making musicals, let alone musical TV shows, Glee is kinda okay, but by no means that can be used as a standard. But Nida, with her understanding of bollywood brings something refreshing and fun to the genre that often stays underused.

Anjana Vasan has been making big splashes in the world of western multimedia world for some time.we saw her in small roles in Spiderman: Far From Home, and in Sex Education, and post the first season of Lady Parts, she had important and main roles in the last season of Killing Eve and Black Mirror respectively. and if you are coming here after watching her there, it would be very difficult to place her character Amina, but once you give it a bit of time, she fits the role of girl-next-door, goody-two-shoes, boy-crazy Amina perfectly. Her comedic timing is extraordinary, and not surprising given her theatre background. and her narration keeps the pace of Lady Parts very exciting.

I have couple issues with the second season of Lady Parts, one of them being Mumtaz’s growth, it felt Mumtaz records became a success overnight, and had no issues getting a space, which from the past narrative for season one and half of season two, makes no sense. it felt quite rushed and unrealistic. the other part being Amina going back to the obviously toxic brother of Ayesha, Ahsan. i hope there is vindication in season three, or I will throw hands.

season two perfectly depicts the struggle of indie groups and musicians, and how predatory mainstream record labels can be. It has been already established the record labels have been fuck all to say the least. multiple legendary musicians has died penniless and/or on the streets because of their predatory practice. Even though it was a short stint, those practices are clearly visible in the few episodes. the outcome was quite expected tbh, Lady Parts doing something similar like radiohead or arctic monkeys fit perfectly as a British alternative rock group. Despite that, it was extremely fulfilling to watch.

It has pretty amazing queer rep too. both Ayesha and Saira are queer, and it is clearly visible there. Ayesha’s very lesbian relationship has progressed quite a lot, and the interpersonal struggles have started to bubble up. I expect to see more of that in the coming seasons. i can’t help but feel that Saira would be trans masc adjacent, and i think that would be amazing avenue for Lady Parts to explore. a tboy from the diaspora would also be one of the first representations in western media.

i want more of Lady Parts, and i’m not satiated enough. i want more episodes too, and i want more shows featuring the struggles of diaspora in different formats, like Lady Parts, or Man Like Mobeen. tbh, kinda would love to see Guz Khan or Shazad Latif in Lady Parts hehe. would be pretty amazing.

 
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from Hwrites

fuck you and your money

I wanna write without giving a fuck about grammar I wanna use wordplay that doesn't make sense to the stupid ones I wanna write and post without seeking approval. But perhaps, some validation.

I wanna write as if I'm freeing every part of myself As if I'm reborn and i see everything with a pair of new eyes

But I'm stuck in a cabin With colleagues that are as great as the copies I write With a salary that lets me shop and eat well With people around me that are passive aggressive And I feel like a clueless dice Rolled around with flick of a hand That has no idea about the way it affects the dice.

I wanna post about things i see all around everyday I wanna write about things that ignite me The fire so bright and blazing that it doesn't let me sleep Until i put it out with a paper Full of my writings

I'm so sad I wish I were not 21.

I'm so anxious I wish I didn't have a job

I'm so stupid For someone with a job in writing

I'm so clueless For a girl in marketing

Selling lies with her words

That costs her sleep and a blind eye Towards all the shit the world is going through now

 
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from HwritestoL

Take me back to the time when you were just an alphabet

Its bizarre.

I had no idea a simple letter, a mere alphabet, would hold this much volume in my letters.

You have no idea either. Probably never will.

I miss back when L was just an alphabet. Now it occupies more than half of my notes, my patterns to the folders of you, the passwords to my door, my heart.

And while you're just a kilometre away from me, i can't help but think what will happen if I just go up to the office in my pyjamas and talk with you about what's kept you up there for so long.

You'll ask how I got to leave so early and I'll tell you all about my day. Even the anxiety attacks too.

We'll go to your favourite spot for dinner, mine for dessert. And I'll come back to my hostel in that horrid bike of yours, but enjoy the ride. My hands in your hair. Yours on my hips. Ah, I'm a hopeless romantic. And a tortured poet.

But if you asked, said come, let's go. I'll leave all my half burnt writings, my clothes with your thoughts woven in them, my books with your name on them, I'll leave it all and blindly follow you. For you're the fire, I'm just a stupid moth.

Seriously though, what would you do if I came right this instant to the office?

 
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from butch iscariot

Hi, I am Alo.

I am a 20-something trans Bengali butch, living in Kolkata, India. We are an endangered species.

I ramble about books and media and representation and other seemingly ~asinine~ things that people have told me are frivolous pursuits. I use dating apps to talk about eco-feminism and intersectionality with other queer desi people, as there is no gay bar in my neighbourhood that caters to middle-class socially anxious trans sapphic folk like me. I also like writing love poetry and melancholic, slightly wistful romances about Bengali girls in love and Bengali trans queer kids in Catholic School.

I feel like I have been given a key to Pandora's box with this blog, and thus, my friend has unleashed a monster. You will be subject to my poetry, and you WILL read my opinions. I hope you will listen to what I have to say. Sometimes, my ramblings might even make sense.

 
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from HwritestoL

Maybe i speak, maybe i die

Hey L,

I'm on a train and I'm thinking of you.

And I want to tell you what will happen if i decide to be brave.

I'd start off by asking you out for a tea, coffee for you? Whichever you prefer. And I will ask you to continue what you were saying when I was pressed up against you, no- the first time.

You barely spoke the second time. Which by the way, will be my next question.

I'd ask all about your lessons, little wins, failures, your first love, your friends back in college and school. And if you still talk to any of them.

I'd then ask how many siblings you have. Are they cunning like mine or sweet like the ones that came for me, but from another mother? I'd ask you about your parents. Are they typical like mine or are they whatever I'm imagining right this instant.

I'd then ask about what hurt you the most when you were a child. Because if there is one thing I find relatable among people, it's their pain. You see, this will help us get closer. And i get to prove myself that I'm not a coward anymore.

I'd ask you about what kind of business you're interested in. And while I ask you this, I'll probably get lost in the stories I'm spinning of both of us in my mind. For you're great at whatever you do and I will sit with you and admire each of your successes and failures. Perhaps we'd retire on a nice farm back at home and we'll sit on our balconies sipping something sweet.

After this story ends, I'd ask you what kind of people you've met. Strangers, friends, relatives. But speak of only your favourite ones. Because if I am not what I am now I'd have written poems about my favourite people that'd stun the poets.

I'd ask you too many questions in between and i sometimes get lost in myself. So feel free to slap me. Or kiss me. Whichever you prefer.

I'd then tell you about the moments I was being sneaky for you. When I asked little details of you nonchalantly. Pretending as if that's the last thing that I care about. I'd tell you it was the most difficult moment to not care.

I'd tell you about the times i kept watching your photos discreetly on screens. When you were right beside me but was too shy to look you in the eye. I'd tell you how once again I realised that i should never choose acting as my career even if my life depends on it.

And if i think this seems like a journey that'd lead to a destination i want to cherish, I'd show you this and ask you out again.

What a waste this would be if you turn out to be a Man. I hope you would just be you.

 
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from keithieboy

The Politics of being Gender

If you have been in left-leaning trans and queer online circles then you most probably have heard someone or something being described as “gender”. The term gender, in this context, means having gender expression worth of envy. If you see a person and you feel like emulating their gender expression, then you'll call that person “gender”.

More often than not, 'gender' is reserved for androgyny and perceived gender nonconformity. People of all genders are capable of being 'gender', but gender conforming folks are often reserved to be 'transition goals' for binary trans people. 'Transition goals' imply that the person expressing that feeling is willing to achieve their aesthetic targets with both long-term transitional healthcare (HRT, surgeries, exercise) and short-term gender affirming care (makeup, hair styling, clothing) while gender is reserved for the later goal. Again, with vague, still-developing queer vernacular; both of these terms have an overlap in use and target.

'Gender' ascribes an ideal in queer thought, no matter how subjective. So, I asked my friends who they thought of as 'gender'. Before I continue, I should mention that my data is anecdotal in nature, but it is still able to provide necessary insight into our biases, and the inferences are noteworthy. All of the people who answered are active internet users and part of different online queer spaces, and are within the ages 18-30.

Across the board, the answers featured men and masculine presenting people. They also happened to be white or had light skin, and can be described as thin. Even when people mentioned women or non-men as their examples of “gender”, they had lighter skin and were not fat. In the scope of my query, I struggled to find anyone who did not fit conventional beauty standards who were defined as “gender”.

As trans and queer individuals we mostly exist outside societal norms of gender, sexuality, and love. But that doesn't imply that people in the community won't inherit other forms of bigotry, let alone queerphobia and transphobia. By viewing people who present in a masculine way as “gender” more frequently, we inadvertently extend patriarchal views; where being a man is seen as a neutral being but being a woman or a nonbinary individual is seen as inherently gendered and othered. The oppressive systems at play view a thin, white, able-bodied cis man as the neutral, natural being; and anyone else as a deviation, an anomaly, something to be marked as different. And it sucks that even 'radical' queer activists subconsciously buy into these systems.

This inherent bias is seen when you ask someone to give you a piece of clothing that is not gendered. They are more likely to hand you a suit than a sari, even though they claim to believe that clothes have no inherent gender. Similarly, a shirt is a neutral piece of clothing, but a thobe, a yukata, or a kurta are “cultural” clothes; despite all being clothes are commonly worn by various groups of people.

Complex questions that inquire about societal and cultural norms, and questions the veracity of different biases that exist within us seldom come with simple answers. But that doesn't mean all efforts will be futile. We can start by questioning why we think of a certain gender as the natural being and others as a marked deviation, not “normal”. The steps after this questioning are even more complex, involving attempting to deconstruct the way gender is viewed in society. There is one step that is simple, and that is ensuring transphobic cis queers never get a platform.

 
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from Kalpurush

When my poetry stagnates, I know the world is on fire. I know the world is on fire, for my poetry does not sing. It is not born out of misery, my words, But squeezed instead out of the last remaining willfull happiness I have left within me. This happiness that writhes in pain, Asking to be let free. In my misery I drink of the world. I embody the cowardice my forefathers taught me to seek. I am flesh and I am bone and the misery of this earth Does not entail me. And neither does my poetry. Dried up sands within fall like an inch of time pasing by from a higher cliff And atop it I sit, wondering When shall the end be near me.

 
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from Ellgie

Wired brain – it's mine!

My brain is wired. There are a couple diagnoses and I don't want more. Ultimately, the wires in my brain are entangled, keep switching, some are different colors and some are invisible. I don't want to delve into the challenges I face to exist in a pretentious non wired world but the struggles of claiming my wired-ness.

I am not really sure what is more difficult. I get annoyed when I see other people keeping their response to themselves. Although, when I go back to my visual self, I see the fear and shame evidently from my childhood and five years of law school. I had a mask on to not be myself; the fact is I never knew who I am. It made it easier to be whoever I wanted to be (common word for it is projecting). Those were equally sad days, but they were the days of unawareness from discouragement to get aware.

I would deflect from projecting once in a while or when I felt safe with my beloved friend from the time. She is the person who helped me start unveiling myself; to see that everything I think or speak is not silly. Then it was her, work colleagues and work that I was immensely faithful too. I loved what I was doing irrespective of the routine, I could truly see myself and my wired brain complementing and coexisting. Once my boss, while talking about a matter in Court the next day, was agitated and asked me if I am even understanding or just nodding. I think he knew how I used to feel about doing what we were doing but he expected me to express that feeling.

“I've just learnt to accept my feelings, how do i express them. Is it necessary? Is nodding not engaging or expressive.” It's only a few years (could be 2, 5, 10, 12 years) that I realised my way of perceiving the world is common; even its presence is very explicit but it's always unacknowledged!

I unapologetically address myself a late bloomer; the shade, light, water I received was unproportionate, there were storms and untimely rain but assessment is based on growth. The more I learnt how behind I am from the unwireds and after it stopped making any difference, I was still sad but it was tube lightening. I adore the person I am and this constant push to pretend upsets me and when it doesn’t affect others in similar situations, it upsets me even more.

Being wired has broken me, hence I can only be broken into more pieces instead of being fixed. I don’t see any point in being fixed or healed because it's not possible; but also because the process of healing will make me resilient and to pretend. I don’t want to put so much effort into molding myself when I can continue to be upset and still exist. It can't be just me who have been unknown to myself for so long that it's now ruthless but yet joyful to explore further.

Was this the expression my boss was expecting while he is amazing at pretending? Humans are complex and when it’s 'char log', it gets even more complicated.

Note: Maybe the writing style did not make sense. If you want to get sense out of something I said, reach out. If you disagree, please break my notions but if you’re offended; you're welcome.

 
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from artes

I am drowning yet I wish I could drown further. I ask my friends what drowning feels like. They give me a sad laugh and walk past. Lately, I don't understand things around me. I was dying and someone who loved me said, “Live” and I became immortal. Maybe I loved them too. I don't remember their face. I do remember them leaving. They were stupid. They didn't realize how much relief there is in death until they left me in death. An end to the noise. An end to the corrosion. An end. An end. I hate so much about everything they stood for. I want to wear their bones as a crown. I have lived a thousand deaths. I last slept against some Banyan tree. It offered some faux camaraderie in its longevity. I bleed sometimes. It makes me cry. Fate plays this cruel game, masquerading my mortality. I hate you. You had no right to take what was mine. It was your greed. Your possessiveness that would not let me go. The worst part is, i only remember the worst of you. I can't remember the way you kissed me, I remember the way you kept me hostage. I can't remember how you held my waist and danced with me, I remember the vague memory of you leaving. I went to the sea after a long time. I thought of drowning. I couldn't breathe. It felt normal for a while. It made me close my eyes for a moment as my lungs filled with the saline. A thousand blades haven't made me feel this good. I knew what was coming when your curse pulled me to the surface, the waves hitting me, each like a slap to the face. Was this love? Some days I think you never loved me, maybe I was an object to you. Yours to possess as long as you lived, a prized possession. A possession but nothing more. Like an invader entering promised land, you took everything. It was in your divinity to take everything. You put me on fire, and left me to burn for eternity. I don't even have the energy to curse you anymore. Maybe I did love you.

 
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from Ellgie

A month back while traveling back from Noida to Delhi, as always I passed Shaheen Bagh where peaceful protest was held in 2019-2020 against CAA and NRC. If you never passed that road during the protest days, you won't know what it was like to be there. Thousands of people standing tall to fight for their rights, to not be questioned for being in their own country and some in solidarity. After the protest was forcibly stopped, everything in that part of the road was painted over and removed. It was meant to remove all marks of resistance. One part that continued to give hope and joy that they left one mark where Faridabad was painted Zindabad. It was a pleasure to the eyes and ofcourse I thought nobody noticed it but me. I saw that more than couple time and the smile I held in solidarity. While passing through that road recently, Zindabad was removed too but I am not sure if I was still hurt. People who held that protest continue to be the citizens they are, Shaheen Bagh continues to hold the legacy of resistance that was acknowledged by the world. I would laugh to myself thinking that they really believe by revamping the area, they can get away with it. Now after four years, I don't feel the same, they are getting away with it easily. The world is on fire and international bodies fail to change anything in Gaza to stop the genocide; India is nowhere, forget about what is happening in parts of the country where the resistance for autonomy continues for years. I know as a savarna hindu – my citizenship would not be questioned and now being in a city where displaced refugees live including hindus and muslims; I am learning more. Also just saying out loud, north indian point of view is loud but it is narrow and I see it more and more with small interactions I get to be part of. This was just my experience and understanding till now and I know my values are shifting because of the public system becoming incapable of protecting the basic rights. What can I do about it? I don't know but I don't want to be hopeless.

In the love of the world I thought, was a beautiful place. I want to surprise myself, and know what I am capable of. I don’t want to give up, not right now!

With hope in despair.

 
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from Kalpurush

Angry beats of an angry song in my ears. Guitar strums of words so revolutionary that they feel jarring. They bleed the numbness away.

Life becomes an endless bus journey. Life is filled with such endless roads that lead to nowhere hearts, And unknown halls that breed dead trees; No Garden of Eden in sight.

This is God's hell where we abide!

Unseen faces pass by on both sides As I run dead center with blinders in my eyes. I try and fixate my sight on one of them, For a moment I turn my head. But before I can focus, it vanishes into chaos.

I stretch my hands out and it hurts as the fingers scrape walls that never fall, rebuilt over one another. And the bones crack as they collide with the railings racing past.

Yellow lights brighter than fireflies scorch my eyes. I stay awake at night and every now and then I hear the mad dog cry. The mad dog drives me mad and I know I should sympathize but I can't.

He's dying. I know he's dying.

But this is God's hell where we abide!

Where nothing we do makes it to those who need us, And nothing we say makes it to those who feed us.

Nothing's permanent. It all ends.

And we're doomed to watch us destroy ourselves.

 
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from Kalpurush

Romeo touches the feet of his lover Juliet dies at war Her pristine white gown stains in crimson As she lies still on the grass with dark skies above

“She sleeps beautifully”, he declares And their unborn child sucks on watermelon seeds As the feet of the bride touches heaven Countless red rivers drain into seas

She prays her lover can see her once more Romeo downstairs laughs hysterically He's happy that her bride smiles in death He will always be proud of her bravery

Juliet lies very still among other bodies With a flower in her hand of which no petals remain Romeo in his dreams runs in a sea of poppies Towards his lover, in a land of no restrain

Where blue skies bleed into yellow fields Where sirens are unheard of Where children don't pick bomb shells at the beach Where white pigeons fly high above

 
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from Kalpurush

French Romanticism reached my city

Walking through sleepy afternoon lanes I hear meal heavy stomachs heave out sighs Of a momentary relief of illusion Roads seem blurry, Skies seem hazy, Dogs and crowds scream no more.

French Romanticism reached my city

The nights are quiet and chilly. Somewhere in the neighbourhood you'll hear a bark or two The windows are closed but the life from within seeps out into the open The street lamp outshines it all unless you look high enough And there within the clouds you'll see The face of tomorrow

French Romanticism reached my city

Through screens I watch road after road I watch feet, I watch slogans and I watch bloodshed Tilaks of red and orange mark people's foreheads Green isn't confined to just the trees. Blues and whites are a rare sight Black lies within these hearts

French Romanticism reached my city

Here people like to call everything a Revolution Songs of days gone by resurface, Lyrics of a bygone time make more sense with every passing day Writers have it easy these days, Storytellers don't. Ashes turn to ashes, But my bones, no they won't.

 
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from Hwrites

I think it's happening again Staring at the sky until my eyes sting Sitting on the terrace until I catch a cold.

Hair tangled all over my face I didn't mean for this to happen. But they keep pushing me here I do not want to be here The mountains blackened Clouds chasing each other Sun set so low I can't catch a peak

I should leave soon But there's blood everywhere Too scared and too mesmerised to leave I want to set my heart on fire. Let it unlearn all this hatred And build a new heart from the things I learnt from you Adorn it with Spanish Jasmine.

Call for my friend and hang the fairy lights around it, books stack up high with walls around us. Maybe a cup of tea, for me and coffee for you. We'll sit and discuss to include more decoratives We'll make it so pretty that it will look Like it never was once bruised and battered.

But I can't do that yet I need space This house, with a huge hall. I don't have space here Not to breathe Not to cry Not to be.

 
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from Kalpurush

There's a butterfly in my basement It grows every time I see it On each visit it spreads its wings And allows me to pet it

It's colours are one of a kind Hint of brown in a shade of green It flutters around in my absence It keeps my basement clean

The moss that accumulate every summer Are the same colour as it's wings The butterfly eats my moss covered floor And when it's done, the doorbell rings

I have a doorbell at the entrance of my basement door It's useful, at times like these This butterfly unlike any others in the wild Loves ringing it as a code for “Please”

“Please come in, give me a visit, Please come look how clean I've made your floor. Please comment on how much you like it, And when you leave, please don't close the door.”

The butterfly in my basement is hungry for colours It's seen glimpses of yellow and blue Red, and purple and violet and pink, It wants to visit my living room too

The butterfly in my basement now sits in my bedroom It lies by the window sill Calm and quite not bothering a soul It tends to my house when I fall ill

The butterfly in my basement is all colourful now Shades of rainbow paint it's wings The moss covered basement sits abandoned now The doorbell no longer rings

The butterfly in my basement grows and grows While I shrink just enough to give the space it needs After all the moss in the basement was not enough for it's nourishment Now my grey house is on what it feeds.

 
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from Hwrites

I keep dreaming of that house I lived in. It looked ugly on the outside, it being a company-provided house, a hideous shade of blue painted on it. There was a huge mango tree right by our front yard, giving us one of the sweetest mangoes I've ever tasted in my entire life. I still chase that taste whenever I try mangoes now. Everything was sweeter when I was eight and unaware.

I remember that one particular shelf in the house. Small spaces stacked upon each other. We used to dump all our clothes there. We didn't have much space to keep our clothes. Everything felt too small. Like we had too much baggage brought along with us when we moved. There were always a bunch of things scattered on our floor. At night, when we all huddled up in a room to sleep, there wasn't much space for six people. Our feet always grazed the wall across. Small windows, newspaper stuck all over it. The orange street light still managed to seep into our bedroom. I used to stare at it until I fell asleep, not being able to turn this or that side because my sisters would be sleeping right beside me.

Houses like that weren't made for six people to live in. But my happiest times were when I lived there. So beautiful that in my dreams, I yearn to go back to that house. Now in my early 20s, I dream of the house so often that it keeps attaching the people I know to it. I'd dream of them coming to the house, a home to be honest. And they'd all sit next to me and ask questions about the shelves that always looked like they were spilling out of clothes. I'd become 8 again, introducing them to my shelf in my dream because I loved that I had something of my own.

I'd wake up and feel horrible and heavy. I wouldn't want to move my limbs. The dreams linger in the back of my mind. I'd quietly wipe my tears away and I wouldn't even realize that I was crying. Mother would yell at me to get a move on and I'd stare at my red and puffy eyes while I brush my teeth and wish I could go back in time.

The thing is we've moved three houses. But A405 will always be a home. As I got older I realized that the bigger your house, the smaller you'll feel. The more rooms, the lonelier you feel.

 
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