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An Account of Autumn – Manūchherī

“An Account of Autumn and in Praise of Aḥmad bin Abdus Samad, Vizier of Sultan Mas’ūd”, a wine-panegyric or khamriyya by Manūchherī Dāmaghānī (d. 1040 C.E.) (trans. Prashant Keshavmurthy) The Lord be praised – for autumn’s month is here, The month of shrinking and swelling vineyards. So much do they harvest and heap the grape [...]

Open with Nehru's "Tryst with Destiny" if you are a male* Indian/Gora author. Open with Jinnah's "You are Free to Go" if you are a male Pakistani author. No one will ask you to write anything if you belong to current state of Bangladesh, so do not worry (one imagines you may have something to [...]

A Formula for Being Human

... I am a man in exile in Beirut in 1982 - cast out by a military dictator. On this ground too unfurls my blood stained standard where the flag of Palestinian home flows Your Master has destroyed one Palestine; My wounds have prospered how many Palestines. ... I am a woman; long hair, dreadlocked; [...]

My Dear Americans

Happy July 4th, my dear Americans. Here is a short made by Arpita Kumar, being screened at PBS ONLINE FILM FESTIVAL. Here is what Kumar told us about the short: I made My Dear Americans during my Project Involve fellowship at Film Independent in Los Angeles. We were asked to pitch short film projects focused [...]

Mirages of the Mind

The early books of famed Urdu satirist Mustaq Ahmed Yousufi (b. 1922), Chiragh Talay (1961) and Khakam-e Badhan (1969), functioned in the college space for us in Lahore as cigarettes function in a prison camp - a currency, a momentary respite, a surge, and a day dream. We used to crack jokes from his oeuvre [...]

Fifteen Years After Eqbal Ahmad: A Call

Today marks the fifteenth anniversary of the passing of Eqbal Ahmad (1932 - 1999). Who was Eqbal Ahmad? On 10 Feb, 1971, a letter appeared in The New York Times titled "Eqbal Ahmed: A Defense" signed by faculty at Princeton. To the Editor: Leaders in the movement to end the prolonged, cruel and useless violence [...]

Waziristan, U.S.

I gave the following remarks on 26 March 2014. There currently exists a limit in the liberal critique of the drone program: there is a discussion about the efficacy of the program – and with it an emphasis on collecting numbers of casualties, of some matrices of sorting the dead into militants and civilians; there [...]

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