Friday, July 7, 2017


I made a thing. It's not a great thing but it's mine and after 17 years in the dungeons of broadcast TV, I felt like the soon-to-be Count of Monte Cristo.

Watch on that other blog of mine:

Friday, June 23, 2017

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Hot & Bothered

Any time Adam listens when Hannah is talking, it gets me...yeknow.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Image of Saffiyah Khan

First off let’s face it, this is straight up hilarious - this Chihuahua of a man nipping at the ankles of human decency. You can just about hear his ridiculous yelps (like our ruling party’s goons but with an accent) growing more and more hysterical as the mistress of bindi stares him down. “Should I swat him now?…Now?” I imagine her wondering which Louis Vuitton handbag he leaped out of. Bigot want a biscuit?

Look at her power stance – does she walk around like that, with her body angled for battle, her back ramrod straight, chest out, neck stretched, face relaxed yet ready to get into just about anybody’s face? Is this her normal life-condition*? I slouch, always have. That’s my normal life-condition. I have a weak core. My back is sick & tired of being sick & tired.

When I was 12 there were two Chihuahuas that would accost us on the way to our school bus stop. I remember being terrified in anticipation before I stepped out of my house. I’d pray they wouldn’t be let loose on the street that morning. If I saw them scurrying to get at our ankles, I would panic and slouch-run across the road. Maybe if I’d known, like Saffiyah does, that Chihuahuas live in handbags, I wouldn’t have been so afraid.

By her own account, when the image was taken, Saffiyah Khan was protecting another woman who’d been surrounded “360” by the same yelping thugs. Reports have interpreted Khan’s demeanour as ‘unfazed’. That’s bullshit if you ask me. She had to have been fazed, most fazed. You don’t get to stand like that if you haven’t been similarly fazed time & time & time again. You get to a point where the fucking Chihuahua has barked at you one too many times and you’re like fuck it, if it even bares its toothpicky teeth in the direction of your ankles, you'll swoop down, scoop it up and lob it into the stratosphere before its keepers realise that their dildo-themed pet has gone missing.

One might ask, why didn’t you swoop & scoop before? Why did you endure years of intimidation at the hands of these canine hobbits? Can’t speak for Saffiyah but when I was 12 they seemed bigger. Everyone at our bus stop was afraid of them, even the 16 year olds. Over years, they’d acquired mythic status and the stories had been handed down from seniors to juniors. ‘Did you know they bit so-and-so and they had to amputate his foot?’ ‘Their owner is a tantric yogi. His dogs have secret powers.’ (Ok that one I made up, such was the terror unleashed by these unleashed beasts.)

Obviously I don’t know what Saffiyah Khan is really thinking in these images but to me she has become the Monalisa of pussy power. She has run out of fucks to give and this fuck-deficit has allowed her insight into the Chihuahua’s handbag world. Sure it’s Vuitton (and that’s nothing to scoff at) but it is, at the end of the day, a dank handbag, made even danker by dwarf-dog sweat. Does Saffiyah Khan find this realisation amusing? Or did the Chihuahua pee in the bag just a little, its stench reaching everyone’s nostrils? Is that why Saffiyah is smiling? 

I’m no longer haunted by the Chihuahua twins from my school days but I have new challenges. The apartment where I live comes with neighbours, whom I would term ‘distinctly asshole-ish’. I realized this the day I moved, when the movers decided to use the elevator to transport a heavy sofa up two floors. My neighbour stood at the entrance of the elevator and threatened to let loose Jack – her 350 kilo vicious-looking dog. She knew the men were terrified of Jack, they’d asked her to keep him leashed. But she didn’t like ‘those men’ using ‘her lift’ and she let Jack loose. I slouch-stepped in and blocked Jack in a friendly embrace. Jack was confused. The men laughed. He jumped again. I slouched towards him again. This time Jack’s tail went insane, whiplashing his human-shaped asshole. She yelled “JACK! No!!”. I held out my hand. Jack held out his paw. We shook like adults who had no beef with each other. As we retreated to our corners, the men grinned and I thanked god that Jack didn’t live in a handbag.

Check out this beautiful Twitter thread:

* Incidentally, her stance has been described as an “improbably calm stance – smiling, slumped shoulders, hands in pockets” – I view the image very differently.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Pocket Change

every time we meet
pieces of change fall from your pockets
getting entangled in sheets
dropping behind headboard
slipping under mattress & into pillowcase
when you leave I hunt for coins
collecting them in a jar
waiting for it to one day
be full

Monday, September 5, 2016

love letter

you will never know because you've always been plastic and planted to the bottom of the fish bowl as i swim around you in tight circles in a way that makes you believe that that is my only ability - swimming round and round and round. you won't notice as my circles get bigger and the water more turbulent. you will be busy trying to stay rooted in an ever swirling world. i will swim larger and larger. until one day we both realise there is no glass. this isn't even a bowl. you will find that there's no need for a little plastic castle in the fluid vastness of the ocean. you might even search for me because what's a plastic castle without a fish bowl-dwelling fish? but try as you might to retrace each memory you will never know how it happened and when i became gone.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

No This Is Not Rape (Trigger Warning: Sensitive Material)

The Mahmood Farooqi rape case has been immensely triggering for me.
Not just because the facts are so similar to what happened to me about a decade ago but because of the unfortunate discourse that's followed Farooqi's sentencing to a minimum 7 yrs in prison.
"Why didn't she resist?"
"Why didn't she go to the police immediately?"
"Is it rape if he goes down on her?"
"Is it rape if it's less than 4 minutes long?"
"Is it rape if she's white?"
"Is it rape if he's bi-polar?"
"Is it rape if he apologises?"
"Is it rape if his politics is widely acknowledged as progressive?"

There have been a string of rape apologies I've read under the guise of 'widening the debate' and 'inviting nuance', some by people I call friends.
Each piece twists my insides because they take me back to a time when rape-apologies weren't things others said to me but things I said to myself.
No, this is not rape because he's not inside me, I told myself as he pinned me to the bed. No, this is not rape because I've smoked a joint, I thought as I screamed stop for the nth time. No this is not rape because he's having a bipolar episode. No, this is not rape because I'm his houseguest. No, this is not rape because look! someone's broken through the door within minutes and lifted him off me. No, this is not rape because everyone in that house is pretending nothing happened. No this is not rape because he is widely loved and I must not destroy him.

I told myself this isn't rape as I ran home and then stayed there, unable to come out for the next 7 days. I told myself it's not rape as I quit my job and sank into a confused state. It wasn't rape for the next two years that I went underground, receding from the world. It wasn't rape when I finally went to therapy and it wasn't rape that made me spontaneously start crying every time my boyfriend & I got intimate. It definitely wasn't rape that stirred it all up again eleven years later when the Farooqi case came up.
Eleven years.

All this time and for me, it wasn't rape at all. Until the woman Farooqi raped showed me it was. Because every forced sexual act is rape. Lack of consent is rape. Taking away a woman's agency and right to her own body, her own safety is rape. I must repeat this to myself every time doubt creeps in and I wonder if it was indeed rape. So must we all, repeatedly until we get it.

Do read this Kafila piece, which succinctly breaks down the legal and feminist aspects of the case and judgement: