Why Lahore Remains Lahore: A Dip into Pakistan’s Cultural Hub

If you’re not already familiar, there is this saying in Punjabi coined from an old song: “Lahore, Lahore aye“, that “Lahore is Lahore”. Sometimes words aren’t enough to describe something. Lahore is one of those. Calling it Lahore is more than enough to explain it. The singer also repeats the line “Ho jinnay L’ore naee tak’ya o’…

Dear Aunties, Stop Telling Us to Get Married

“I’d already had your father when I was your age” “If you let this “primal age” pass, you’re only going to get divorced men” “Learn to do this *insert house chore* properly because you’re going to have to do it for your husband/family soon” “Hurry up and get married because you also have younger siblings”…

Top 12 Bollywood Songs to Add to Your Travel Playlist Now

Though headphones have become an extension of the body, I try to leave them at the bottom of my bag when traveling. Getting lost in the rhythm of traffic and deciphering languages my tongue is not accustomed to takes priority. Nevertheless, transits are liminals where pre-prepped playlists are crucial. I can’t imagine spending my time doing anything else but…

An Open Letter to My Brother-in-law

  Hey bro, When we moved to Canada in 2005, our family reduced to 5 from 8. Then to 4, then 3 after Batool left for university, and now we’re just 2, thanks to you. It’s okay, I forgive you for taking what never cuddled back, even after 21 years of sharing a bed. There…

A Tourist In My Own Town: Zahra Travels Pakistan

Identifying as a Pakistani-Canadian, “home” has been the only place on the map I hesitate to point to.   Like anyone with a past, I also had someone in my life before Toronto swept me off my feet. It’s hard to imagine that I’ve spent just as much time in Karachi as I have in…