Tag Archives: pakistan

The world right now, let me tell ya. #NorthWaziristan ft. #Palestine

First of all, Falasteen Zindabad.

Apartheid is happening in Palestine right now. To me, arguing about it doesn’t even make sense at this point. It’s a fact that hospitals, schools, children, and elderly people in Palestine have been targeted in huge numbers, to the point that this “conflict” is completely one-sided. I don’t have a whole lot of patience for any arguments against this anymore. If you still feel like this is a two-sided conflict, all I can tell you is to get a new, less-biased news source in your life. Obviously, #IStandWithPalestine.

Moving on to something that has been in the news literally never.

Okay not literally, thanks to Al Jazeera.

But almost never.

North Waziristan, Pakistan.

The Pakistani government has launched a huge air and ground offensive in north western Pakistan, particularly the North Waziristan province, in an attempt to eliminate the Pakistani Taliban. As proud as I want to be of the Pakistani government for doing this, some people have been questioning the motives behind this attack, with claims of various conspiracies. I mean, I would think the government is putting their genuine effort into this, especially after the attack on a major airport in Sindh province that happened recently. But as I don’t know a whole lot about the government aspect of this, what I will speak on is the sacrifice of the people of North Waziristan. Thousands have been forced to flee their homes, to avoid becoming casualties of this air strike, many into Afghanistan. And like, they’re not even mad, because they know it’s for a good cause. But it’s summer right now, and it was also just Ramadan. So conditions haven’t exactly been ideal. Not that conditions are ever ideal for fleeing your home. Some families have returned to find destroyed homes. And my thing is, why hasn’t this been in the news more? These people are leaving their homes for our safety. The Pakistani Taliban is not just a danger to them, but, when looking at it’s roots and long term effects, to the world. In Pakistan, these IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons), have gotten more attention. The Panjab government has pledged at least 2,000 new houses to the IDPs. Which is nice. Really really nice. Unfortunately, there are  more than 2,000 IDPs. There are actually more than 700,000 IDPs from this situation. That’s .7 million.

Al Jazeera has some stuff on this whole thing: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2014/07/pictures-pakistan-offensive-co-2014714133154188322.html

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2014/07/pictures-pakistan-troubled-tirah-20147114547630421.html <–This one mentions the Sikh community in the area 🙂

My heart is with Palestine and Pakistan ❤

-M

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MALERKOTLA

I told you I’d be back soon :)))

You guys, I have to tell you about this city I found out about, OMG. 

It’s in Panjab, India. 

 

 

File:India Punjab.svg

 

 

It’s called Malerkotla.

 

Katrina Kaif and Saif Ali Khan were there once. 

 

And it’s just your average, Panjabi city. 

 

 

…EXCEPT IT’S  REALLY NOT. 

Malerkotla has a Muslim majority, unlike the Sikh majority in the rest of Panjab (India side), and the Hindu majority of most other Indian states. Before 1947, this would not be unusual. But after the Partition, many India-side Muslims moved to newly-created Pakistan. But Malerkotla Muslims? They were basically like, nahh, we’re good here. While the rest of India and Pakistan was suffering from a crazy amount of rapes and murders, apparently nothing happened in Malerkotla. If this isn’t suprising enough, wait untill you hear why this was. 

 

In 1705, the 7 and 9 year old sons of the 10th Prophet of Sikhism were sentanced to death by being bricked alive (???) by a powerful Mughal, Wazir Khan. Eventually, the sons, Fateh Singh and Zorowar Singh, were actually bricked alive, and to this day, Sikhs everywhere remember their martyrdom yearly. Growing up, I learned about this event. But what I did not learn about was the protest to the sentencing by Sher Mohammad Khan. He was the Nawab of Malerkotla, and argued with Wazir Khan, saying that the act to be committed was against Islam, and was inhumane. When his protests weren’t heard, he walked out of the court. After the 10th Prophet’s sons were killed, the Prophet himself approached Sher Mohammad Khan, and thanked him for his protest. He also gifted him with one of his own swords. So, beautiful story, right? DID I MENTION. MOHAMMAD KHAN WAS WAZIR KHAN’S BROTHER? That’s right. He went against his own bro to try and save people of a different faith. And so Malerkotla has continued to reference this strange, heroic yet tragic, event, when it comes to inter-religion dealings. During the Partition of India, they were basically like, “Should we move to Pakistan? Ehh, remember that time our guy tried to save your guys? That was nice. Let’s just stay here then.” Even during the Sikh genocide of the 1980s, it seems that literally nothing happened in Malerkotla. 

 

Not to mention, it has some really beautiful architecture.

 

 

 

 

 I think another reason I love this city so much is that it gives me a glimpse of what Sikh-Muslim relations must have been like before the Partition. When the Partition happened, my family in Pakistan had no intention of moving to India. It was only after they saw the violence that they decided that moving to India might be safer than staying (which ended up not really being true.) But I think it’s pretty cool that even though they knew that they would be living in a Muslim-majority country, they did not want to leave. I guess the way they saw it was, they weren’t Muslims, but they weren’t Hindus either. So why move, only to be in another country where they’d still be a minority? They might as well stay in the home they know, with the people they know. I can’t help but wish they had indeed stayed, especially if the result would have been more cities like Malerkotla.

I mean, not that Sikh-Muslim relations are bad now, I don’t think. I know that there’s a bunch of Sikhs in Kashmir, and they’re tight with the Muslims there too. Also Iran. 

 

ANYWAYS.

If you’re interested, check out these videos on Malerkotla. Also do it if you’re not interested. Like, I put them there, you know? It’s just common courtesy. 

 😉

 

M’kay. See you next time 🙂

-M

 

P.S–You guys, I like this. Instead of weekly posts, I’ll post anytime I have something really cool to talk about. I feel like this is better for everyone? Maybe I’ll actually post more this way? Also, quality of quantity? Question mARKS???

 

 

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PIND APPRECIATION AND JATTS AND BACKWARDS CLASS STATUS

SORRY NO POST LAST WEEK AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

 

A lot of Panjab, India is rural land made up of tons of small villiages, or “pinds” in Panjabi. Basically, there are cities, and there are pinds. Cities in Panjab are some of the richest in both India and I think Pakistan too–they can  have Pizza Huts and KFCs and the people wear jeans. And they really, truly are beautiful.

But when I was in Panjab, sitting in the car for hours at a time, about every fifteen minutes or so, the air would suddenly become fresher, the roads became clearer, and the view outside the window changed to this. CLICK IT. DO IT. PLEASE. I DIDN’T WANT TO COPY PASTE BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE AN OFFICIALISH PHOTOGRAPHYISH BLOG. BUT JUST CLICK ON IT YOU WON’T REGRET IT.

Panjabi pinds are where it’s at. Just ask Bollywood.

jabwemetpind

Panjabi pinds are famous for their bright yellow fields of mustard, but they also grow wheat and sugarcane, among other crops. So I was definitely expecting those to be there. But I figured seeing that bright yellow sarson di khet would be kind of rare? Like maybe I’d get to glimpse a handful of these fields of mustard.

THEY WERE EVERYWHERE THO. Like I don’t think we ever drove 30 minutes without seeing at least one.

^^some of my pics from the car.

Another thing I didn’t foresee was these amazingly beautiful trees. They were like thin, tall trees with greenish yellowish leaves and, here’s the magic, they were lined up in perfect rows. Driving by them, which happened just as often as driving by the mustard fields, they looked like some kind of an optical illusion.

And CLICK HERE OKAY LOOK AT THIS AMAZING PICTURE OF THE PIND TREES THAT ISN’T MINE BUT IS BEAUTIFUL AND YOU REALLY SHOULD. This picture captures the optical illusionness of it all. It’s the same one I linked you to before. I’m linking you to it twice because for some reason I’m afraid you didn’t click it the first time #trustissues

And yeah. I’m starting to see that pinds are kind of a big part of Panjabi culture. They’re kind of more traditional. I didn’t get to check out any pinds that much while in India, but I like to imagine the ladies wear salwar kameezes, the guys wear kurtas, the kids speak Panjabi, and everyone loves to get down and giddha and bhangra, and on warm nights they sleep on cots on the roofs, under the stars.

*sigh*….pinds, man…<3

Unfortunately, pinds are also where the majority of Panjab’s huge drug problem lies. See, people who live in pinds are usually farmers, and Panjab is facing an enormous agricultural crisis right now, one which the Indian government has not helped very actively. In fact, the government does some things that tend to hurt Panjabi farms more than help them, such as channel more than half of Panjab’s water sources out of Panjab…and because of the agricultural crisis, many Panjabi farmers are without work, and have turned to drugs. There are some pinds in Panjab where you can find syringes littered on the ground. It’s a heartbreaking situation. From what I’ve heard, pretty much every family has been adversely affected by drug addiction.

Panjabi pinds are a wonder. They have a dark aspect to them, what with all the drug use, but they are also so beautiful and have so much culture. Sometimes people call others “pindus” or “pendus,” and it’s taken to mean you are ignorant (when I first typed this I spelled it “ignortant.” like just try saying that out loud.)…it’s usually used lightheartedly, but still, not too cool. I’ve probably done it too, and I’m seeing now how wrong and unfair it is. Now, if anyone ever calls me “pendu,” I always take it as a compliment.To be from a pind is a beautiful thing 🙂

Oh! Also, one more thing! A good amount of people who live in pinds are part of the Jatt caste. A lot of them are Sikhs, and in Sikhi, we are taught not to abide by the caste system. Buuuut sometimes the culture around you trumps religion. Personally, I don’t like to identify people by their caste, or even acknowledge castes. But this topic kind of focuses around a certain caste, so I’m going to this time. 

Anyways, Jatts and Jatt Sikhs  were recently named a “backwards class” by the Indian government as I found from on Diljit’s instagram

 

And at first, I was annoyed, like a lot of other Panjabis and Sikhs. I just thought it was more of the government hating on us, yet again. But this was the Panjabi government, when usually (but not always) it’s the federal government that sips the haterade. So I looked it up, and it’s actually kind of a good thing! Basically, the Indian government has set up this title of “backwards class,” as they call it, and by affording a group this title, the government acknowledges that this group has been underprivileged in the past, and that the government should do it’s best to put the group on equal ground with the rest of the country. It’s kind of like acknowledging their minority status. Here, Wikipedia says it better:

“Other Backward Class (OBC) is a collective term used by the Government of India to classify castes which are educationally and socially disadvantaged. It is one of several official classifications of the population of India, along with Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SCs and STs). The OBCs were found to comprise 52% of the country’s population by the Mandal Commission report of 1980, a figure which had shrunk to 41% by 2006 when the National Sample Survey Organisation took place.[1]

In the Indian Constitution, OBCs are described as “socially and educationally backward classes”, and the Government of India is enjoined to ensure their social and educational development – for example, the OBCs are entitled to 27% reservations in public sector employment and higher education. The list of OBCs maintained by the Indian Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is dynamic, with castes and communities being added or removed depending on social, educational and economic factors.”

 

So I think this is actually a good thing! I mean…they probably should’t have “backwards” in the title, because it throws people off a little. Nonetheless, it’s a good thing. 

Apparently, the government didn’t include Jatts in this classification the first time around, and a lot of Panjabis were annoyed at this. But the government actually went back and added Jatts! 

And from what I know about the agricultural crisis and the drug problem, I think the hardships that Jatts and Jatt Sikhs are facing deserve to be acknowledged. Heck, all Panjabis in India probably deserve this status.  But this is a good start 🙂 

All women are afforded this status as well. 

 

Well that was one heck of a tangent. Man I hate when I go on tangents right before the end of the post. Because then it’s like, how do I end this now? Do I tie it back to the original topic? Do I pretend like the tangent never even happened? Do I pretend like I totally forgot about the original topic? Idk…this is too much. Too much stress. I love you. Bye. 

-M

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I’M HERE. I’M HERE WITH A POST. SNOW QAWAALIS ETC.

Day 21 of M’s absence. Blog takeover is almost complete. Last step remains: remove whale background. Why is it still–

VOICE OF REASON!! BUDDY!!

M! WHAT…WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?

 

What do you mean what am I doing here!? I’m back! We got the laptop fixed!

Oh…well, I meant…why HAVEN’T you been here?? I’ve…missed you!

 

Really?

Yeah…of course…why wouldn’t I. 

I don’t know, V, I’m sensing some sarcasm…

Sarcastic, who me? NO. *slams door*

……

…………

………………

…………

……

 

neeru2

It’s good to be back 🙂

We got a new keyboard for our laptop! 😀 We spilled cha on the old one, lol. Silly brown people. 

And oh! Happy belated Valentines Day!! I was bummed that I didn’t get to post the week before Valentines Day. Ever since the V-Day post last year I’ve been kind of nervous as to how I was going to live up to it this year, since so many people seemed to like it. But now I think not being able to post was actually a good thing HEAR ME OUT. It kind of made me realize that I shouldn’t try to outdo myself like that on the blog. I wrote that post because I had had the idea in my head for a super long time to talk about Panjabi love stories, and I just thought Valentines Day would be a good day to do it. I didn’t know it was going to become my most-loved post. And so I think I should just stick to that mindset, and write posts that I really want to write because I really want to write them. Is that gucci with everyone?

Alright, speaking of posts and whatnot, I don’t have anything planned right now lol. So let’s just talk! Everyone grab some cha. And keep it away from your keyboard.

It snowed so much in North Carolina where I am omg. And when it snows here we don’t know what to do. This was literally us this past week.  AND ALSO. It snowed in Panjab this week! I’ve always been under the impression that snow in Panjab is rare, but I’m starting to suspect it’s just not recorded officially every time that it happens. Like, in 2012 it snowed in Panjab and it got a lot of media coverage, with claims that it was the first snowfall in Panjab, India in decades. But I’ve been checking out some videos on Youtube, and it seems like people have been uploading videos of snow and hail in Panjab every year for a few years back, including this year, 2014:

And of course it snows in Kashmir quite a bit:

As well as Himachal Pradesh, which is part of the Panjab region, and used to be part of Panjab state as well:

*Sigh* Snow in India, man. I can’t imagine anything more beautiful. When it snows here I pretend like I’m in Kashmir. 

Alrighttttttttttt. What else is new. Hmmm. Oh okay omg I stumbled on this AMAZING song on Tumblr:

http://www.tumblr.com/search/heeriye+faqeeriye

IT’S SO GOOD. YES, IT’S IN PANJABI. BUT I FOUND AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION: http://zouve.com/punjabi/heeriye-faqeeriye-satinder-sartaaj-lyrics-english-traslation/

Some parts are lost in translation, of course, but I mean hey. Even if you don’t know Panjabi, you can still enjoy this flippin’ song. Play it. Play it now. And turn it up loud. Annnnd close your eyes. You. Are. Welcome.

It’s by Satinder Sartaaj, who’s a pretty big Panjabi singer right now. I’ve always known he was pretty off the chain, but after hearing this I looked him up a bit more and it turns out he’s studied music in college, and has a Ph. D in Sufi music! That’s so insane to me! Like I didn’t even know you could get a Ph.D in Sufi music!! Sufi music, by the way, is like a type of music that’s popular in South Asia and I think some Muslim countries outside of South Asia as well. I’ve been listening to Sufi music foreveeeer, thanks to my mom. It’s just such a beautiful form of music. When I think of Sufi singers, I think of a bunch of dudes, and these days some awesome ladies, sitting on the ground playing various instruments and singing with all their heart.

A Sartaaj example:

A classic example:

A bollywood-ified example if you fast forward to 3:10:

And a parody rap/hip-hop version 🙂

  So there ya go. Those were all qawaalis, which is the more romantic branch of Sufi music. The other types are mainly religious, and just as beautiful 🙂

So yeah. I guess that’s it, guys. Idk what else to talk about. Actually I kind of do. But it’s late and this post is already long….man, I feel like there are so many things I’ve been wanting to blog about that I *still* haven’t blogged about. I need to get on dis. .Anyways, you should comment things! Down there! Do it. Do it now. Do it please. Also follow me on twitter if you want, idk

https://twitter.com/emkayjay

 

Aight, well see you guys next week 🙂 I promise I will be less all over the place 🙂

-M

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I’M BACK AND THIS TIME WITH AMRITSAR

what

 

 

I was looking for “I’m back” gifs and I stumbled upon this and I was overcome with frustration over not having put this in my last post before I left that I just abandoned the gif hunt.

ANYWAYS. GUYS I’M BACK. I WENT TO INDIA. I WENT THERE. AND NOW I’M BACK. IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. I HAVE TO GO CHANGE MY ABOUT. AGHHHHHH.

It was amazing!!! I don’t really know how I’m going to go about blogging about the trip, because there’s soooooooo much I want to talk about. But one of the things that’s been sticking in my mind the most since I came back is Amritsar. So why not start there 🙂

So we were in Amritsar on the 3rd and 4th days of our trip. (AM I REALLY SAYING THIS RIGHT NOW IS THIS FOR REAL WAS I REALLY IN AMRITSAR WHAT IS THIS REAL LIFE?!!??) We landed in Delhi (WHAT??), stayed the night there, drove to Chandigarh (NA-UH!), which is the capital of Panjab the next day, drove to Amritsar the following morning, and drove BACK to Chandigarh the following day. Lorrrrd have mercy. I’m tired just typing it!

We were pretty tired by the time we got to Amritsar, but we were also excited 🙂 We had planned on quickly stopping at our hotel, matha taiking in Darbar Sahib, and driving 30-40 minutes to Wagah border, then driving back to Amritsar and spending the night there. But parking was really hard at the time so we decided to just go straight to Wagah and skip the initial matha taiking. Wait Wagah was amazing btw. How am I supposed to not talk about WAGAH RIGHT NOW OMG

M CALM DOWN STAY ON TOPIC

YOU’RE RIGHT VOICE OF REASON YOU’RE RIGHT.

Okay we will talk about Wagah soon. But Amritsar was amazing too 🙂 Sooooo we got to our hotel after coming back from the border, and we quickly changed our clothes and walked to Darbar Sahib. Our hotel was literally less than a minute’s walk from Harmandar Sahib. It was awesome. And the two guys who were working there at the time were very nice and really respectful towards my grandparents and one of them gave me the wifi password and idk you just always share a bond with a person after something like that. Okay, so after enjoying a couple minutes of wifi, we walked to Harmandar Sahib. Yup, we walked. Our hotel, Hotel Darbar View, was true to it’s name. It was maybe a 100 feet walk to Harmandar Sahib, like how perfect is that?! PLUS OMG, mine and my brother’s room had a balcony–

looking out from the balcony

looking to the right from the balcony

looking down 

Do you see why I loved this city? Or am I being irrationally obsessive as I usually am in all aspects of life?? Idk! It was so…magical! 

Okay sorry. So we walk to Harmandar Sahib, and my bro and I see the most significant gurdwara in the world for the first time ever.

It was sooooooo beautiful. Everything is worked out really well, it’s super clean and everything. You go in and matha taik and then you can just kind of chill. You can sit and listen to kirtan or do paht or just take it all in. Yes, we got to go upstairs, and it was amazing. There are spiral staircases and original walls and you can even go on the roof, which is amazing. 

The next day, my grandparents, my Massi Ji and I all walked to Harmandar Sahib at dawn. It was the most beautiful thing. I know I keep saying that over and over but I have no idea how to describe how it felt. I mean, first of all, it’s a holy city. And when you get to Harmandar Sahib, it’s just so big and there’s such a sense of unity. Everyone sits and takes their shoes off together and everyone is super chill and, in the morning, they had cha for whoever wanted it in different colored cups–free of charge, obviously, because that’s how Sikhs roll– and when you look up there are pigeons flying and kites and the moon setting and the sun rising and you can hear the kirtan and your bare feet are freezing and yet somehow it feels good…

I think it’s time to let the pics do the talking.

Night visit:

 

A memorial dedicated to shaheedis (martyrs) from the 1984 Sikh genocide…the entire place was actually a huge complex consisting of so many beautiful buildings…this was the first we saw. 

Close-up of the memorial. That’s all stone-work.

Another close-up…I loved the carved khandas.

Inside the memorial, notice how cool the ceiling looks.

Entrance to the main building!

Nishaans, which are our flags.

People doing seva (selfless service, which is part of Sikhism) polishing the metal.

Up close!

Getting prashad.

On the walkway.

Almost in!

Dawn visit:

Walking there from our hotel.

Cha!

fam-fam

religious pigeons

the moon!

I love me some minarets. 

Leaving Harmandar Sahib…the sun was up!

Hotel Sapphire, which was right next to our hotel.

We were walking away from Harmandar Sahib and I just couldn’t stop taking pictures…the entire city is so beautiful. 

I missed the shot, but this man came out of his house or shop and gave this stray dog some food…only time I saw that in India.

Y’all know I’m a sucker for religious diversity <333 Amritsar is full of it!

A nihang!

Our gali (street/alley)

At some point I just started taking pictures of everything…

…this is all over the span of maybe 15 seconds

From our balcony again 🙂

And yeah 🙂 That was Amritsar, guys. We weren’t even there for 24 hours, but it somehow managed to be my favorite city. I loved how you could see things written in  Gurmukhi and Urdu and other languages all over the place, I loved the nice people, the atmosphere, andddd it was pretty cool knowing Lahore was maybe an hour’s drive from us. They say Lahore and Amritsar are twin cities…one day I’ll be able to judge for myself 🙂 

Well you guys, that’s it for this week. I MISSED THIS! IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK! How did the automatic postings go, by the way? Did they work? At first I thought they didn’t, then I thought they might have, then I was like wait what I thought that was a post I published myself, and now I’m just confused. But hopefully it was okay? I can’t wait for next week’s post, I have sooooooo much to tell you guys. Like I don’t even know how I’m going to do it. I even have stuff I’ve wanted to post since before I left, AND next week is a gurpurab, AND Valentines day is coming up and lawd knows I have to do something special for that bc it was such a hit last year…we are in for a crazy few weeks 😛

I can’t wait 🙂

M

P.S–I thought about it for a couple days, and I agree with the coalition…#pAnjab

P.S.S–It’s okay if that didn’t make any sense to you…MAYBE I’LL POST ABOUT IT UGH SO MUCH TO POST ABOUT AHHH

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PREPARE YOURSELF

(I apologize for the probable abundance of grammar and spelling mistakes and overall rachetness of this post. It is late and I am terrible.)

T-minus 9 DAYS until your girl’s taking off! And while I’m going to have posts while I’m gone, they mighttttttttt be on the slightly shorter side. Maybe. I don’t really know. 

😀

BUT in case they are, fear not. Imma hook you guys up. The following are some of my FAVORITE online desi Youtubers, bloggers,  etc., that are always there to fill my heart with joy and brownness. So if you get lonely while I’m gone, maybe you can check them out! Everything is all linked up and stuff, for your clicking pleasure 🙂

*AND NO, I AM NOT JUST DOING THIS BECAUSE I DIDN’T PLAN A POST THIS WEEK. I DON’T CARE WHAT VOICE OF REASON TOLD YOU…*

1) JUSREIGN

Okay if you’re Punjabi, you probably already know him. But if you’re not, or if you are and you haven’t checked him out, do so! He’s a hilarious Youtuber who constantly holds it down for the Punjabi/Sikh communtiy. His vlog channel is great as well. 

2) SUPERWOMAN

Again, I feel silly introducing her, because she’s so well known already. Another great youtuber, also holding it down. Plus she got that girlllll power! Oh, and she has a vlog channel too!

3) BROWNGIRLBLOGGIN

A Brief Anecdote:

For a long time I read her blog (and loved it every time I did) in silence. Then one day I finally plucked up the courage to comment, and I linked her here as well. I was kind of like OMG WHAT DID YOU JUST DO THAT FOR SHE’S GOING TO COME HERE NOW AND READ THE BLOG AND LAUGH AT ITS WEAKNESS AND MY NAIVETY. OR WORSE, SHE WON’T. But I was wrong. She came to the blog and commented, and even tweeted me, and it was the greatest thing.  :)))

ANYWAYS. BGB is a hilarious blogger. Definitely go check out her stuff, and bring a box off tissues, because you will laugh so hard you WILL cry. Also, sometimes you will cry actual emotional tears. Because it gets deep sometimes. 

4) BOLLYWOOD RECAPS

bollywoodrecaps

I think I told you guys about this blog before. It’s genius. The name kind of explains it all: it’s got a bunch of recaps of your fave Bollywood movies, done in a hilarious way. It’s even enjoyable if you haven’t seen the movies!

 

5) HUMANS OF KARACHI

Source: Humans of Karachi

Basically, this is part of a project that photographs average citizens of various cities across the world. In my search for South Asian cities in the project, Karachi, Pakistan, is the only one I’ve really come across so far. It’s soooo interesting and beautiful. You get a picture of a person, and, if you’re lucky, a bit of his/her story. One of my favorite things about Humans of Karachi is that it shows people from all walks of life. There are even some Sikhs and Hindus photographed!

6) KAURISTA

kaurista

Another one you might know already, but it’s awesome nonetheless. Kaurista has kind of a polished blog/online magazine vibe, and it discusses issues brown people often face and whatnot. 

7) AYESHA AROUND THE WORLD

travelblog

One of my Punjabi sisters BRUUUUUUUAH friends traveled a bunch of places in Europe this past summer and blogged about it! Okay this isn’t really desi…but she’s desi! Also, she went to Turkey, so almost desi? Yes? The Turkey posts were my fave 🙂

Okay, and last but not least…

8) Zayn Malik

The ultimate desi.

No but all jokes aside, HE WORE. AN UCHKIN. GUYS. ZAYN WORE AN UCHKIN THIS PAST WEEK AND IT WAS BEAUTIFUL. I KIND OF…SCREENSHOTTED IT…AND…EDITED IT…AND I MADE IT LOOK REALLY NICE, BUT MY PHONE IS IN THE CAR AND IT’S COLD OUTSIDE AND IT’S OUT OF BATTERY SO I CAN’T SHOW YOU. BUT I WILL SHOW YOU SOON. IT’S BEAUTIFUL. 

Ahem….I’m sorry, I got a little dizzy there, my bad.

M, what are you talking about?

I don’t know voice of reason. I feel like I totally just blacked out!

M…did you take your pills today?

What pills?

…*whispers* your fangirl pills!

OH! Oh gosh, I didn’t. Wait…did I just…fangirl?

…mhmm.

In front of them???

It’s okay, M. It’s okay. 

I’m sorry guys. I’ve been meaning to get my little…err…problem under control. But it doesn’t seem to be working. 

Have a great week! 🙂

-M

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YA GIRL IS GOING HOME

That’s right. I had something else planned for this week’s post, but I CAN’T NOT TELL YOU GUYS I JUST CAN’T.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I N D I A  T R I P   I S  A  G O !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

source:http://perezhilton.com/tag/one_direction/#sthash.6oCg1hbn.dpbs

PUNJAB IS A GO

Source:http://naughtydirectioners22.tumblr.com/post/57988347319/preference-60-his-reaction-feeling-the-baby-kick

HARMANDAR SAHIB? OH HARMANDAR SAHIB….IS A GO

source: http://tommo-paypay.tumblr.com/

WAGAH BORDER AKA GETTING TO SEE MY OTHER LOVE PAKISTAN IS A GO

Source:http://shaddei-malik.tumblr.com/post/30326762208/one-direction-can-dance-sorry-your-argument-is

VISAS CAME THROUGH. TICKETS HAVE BEEN BOUGHT. IT’S HAPPENING. 

Source: http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/one-direction/images/31805530/title/zayn-dancing-gif-fanart

     FIRST let me tell you what this means for the blog before I forget. I’m not taking a computer, so I won’t be able to write posts while in India, which will be for about 2 weeks. However, I’m going to write a couple of posts before I go, and schedule them to publish on the two Monday’s I’ll be gone, so it will be like normal ShadesofBrwn Mondays! You’ll grab your popcorn and go to your FAVORITE website and read the new posts and IT WILL BE LIKE I’M NOT EVEN GONE. That’s some magic mystical stuff right there. And so on the 23rd and the 30th there will still be posts even though I won’t be here, and then the following Monday, which will be the 6th of January, I’ll be back, and I’m sure I’ll have plenty to blog about 🙂

However, I won’t be able to approve comments while I’m gone. I don’t really feel like I need to have that setting on, where I approve comments before they appear, but I can’t figure out how to turn it off. (Any suggestions?) You can still leave as many comments as your heart desires, but they won’t appear on the blog until I come back and approve them. 

Okay, now that that’s out of the way…do you want to hear about my trip :))))))))))))))))))))))))))

We’re leaving the day after I get out of school for Christmas break, so the 18th.

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We’re landing in Delhi on the 19th.

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Hopping on a train the next day.

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ARRIVING IN PUNJABBBBB!!!! CHAK DEEEEEE PHATEEEE

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Driving from Chandigarh to Amritsar the next day, to see Harmandar Sahib ❤

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AND to see the border (although not during the ceremony). I’m soo excited for this. I get to see not only my number one, India, but my OTHER number one, Pakistan <333


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We’re spending the night in Amritsar, and then heading back to Chandigarh, and then on a day trip to Patiala, where my grandpa’s from 🙂
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And after a trip to a museum, we’ll be done in Punjab </3 

BUT then we’re going back to Delhi, where some of my family has relocated to after moving out of Punjab. I’m not sure exactly what our itinerary is for Delhi, but I know it will include…

Gurdwara Sis Ganj, where Guru Tegh Bahadar Ji was beheaded.
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And HOPEFULLY I’ll be able to convince someone to take me to see Jama Masjid, which is in Delhi and it’s really old and beautiful.

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AND AT SOME POINT, WE’RE GOING TO LEAVE DELHI REAL QUICK AND TAKE A TRIP TO AGRA TO SEE THE YOU KNOW WHAT. 

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And other than that, who can say what our trip is going to hold? Along with seeing the sights, we’re going to be seeing family we haven’t seen in years, and family we have in fact never seen. So that’s going to be nice 🙂 Alsooo while we’re in Punjab, we’re going to be just a 3 hour drive from a certain northern state…with a lot of mountains…and snow….

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Aaaaand I’m not saying we’re going to Kashmir…we’re for sure not planning on it…but even just knowing we’re THAT close to the most beautiful place in the world (next to Punjab, of course) will be so surreal. And I mean, it’s India. Who knows what’s going to happen 🙂

Anyways guys, thanks for indulging me this post. Sorry if hearing me rant about my trip wasn’t what you had in mind for this week’s post. But hopefully you enjoyed it? What do guys think about the schedule? Are we leaving off anything crucial?? TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS.

ily

-M

ps-also thank you guys for indulging me in person 🙂 swathi, merny, ria, simran, momster, and beeji 🙂

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THESE ARE THINGS I’M PLANNING ON DOING WHEN I GO TO INDIA

And imma need those of you who have been to India to tell me whether or not these are terrible, terrible ideas. 

1) Speak Punjabi.

Like okay. My Punjabi isn’t the best, right? I mean I can have a conversation…but every now and then I….I say something in Spanish, okay? Idk why! It’s like I think brains store 2nd languages in the same compartment or something and therefore get them confused sometimes. I’ll be like “Oh Mummi, bohot frio hai aaj.” And so I’m afraid that when I’m trying to seem like a born-and-raised Indian in shops and stuff, I’ll be haggling, and start saying prices in Spanish. If nothing else, I will confuse the poor shopkeeper, if not give away my Amreekan-ness. But I don’t want to speak in English! I want to blendddddd. BLENNDDDDDD. 

 

2) Bump into my soulmate and have a song-sequence. 

soulmate

soulmatesoulmate3 soulmate4 soulmate5

 

This one is not up for debate, please proceed to number 3. 

 

3) Wear only salwar kameezes. 

 

salwar5

I’m going to be there in the winter, so it’s not like I’m going to be hot (North India gets pretty cold in the winter. In fact, in Kashmir, it gets sooo cold that they have these self-heater situations that are like baskets with burning coals in them.

Source: Tribune Pakistan

They wear them under their shirts, I think. Dangerous? Maybe. Effective? Fo sho. 

). And I do get that a lot of kids my age in India wear jeans and t-shirts, so it’s not so much of a fitting in thing. But I’m finding that, out of everything, salwar kameezes, particularly Patiala salwars, are what I’m most comfortable in and feel the best in. I’ve been thinking about trying to make them my regular attire, so what better place to start than India?

4) Visit Wagah Border.

 

Wagah Border is one of the borders between India and Pakistan. At the end of each day there’s a border closing ceremony (you can read more about it HERE), and so there’s that. But the main reason I would want to go to Wagah would be to see Pakistan, even if it’s just a glimpse. As some of you may know, so much of my family history took place on the land that is now Pakistan, from Punjab to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Pakistan is the playgrounds my grandparents played on. It’s where they took their first steps, and spoke their first words. Pakistan is the homes and friends they left behind. I’m so thrilled to be able to see India this winter, but Pakistan is just as important to me. Hopefully one day I can visit there too, but for now, it would be amazing to just see it. (Speaking of Pakistan, have you guys seen this video? #tears

)

 

Speaking of tears…

5) Visit the Taj Mahal and not leave until I start crying from it’s beauty. 

Which shouldn’t take long. 

 

6) Go to Hamandar Sahib and…explore 😀

Listen. Obviously Harmandar Sahib is beautiful, right? But for some reason, I never even thought about the upper floor(s?) until recently. It’s like, there’s more?! WHAT’S IT LIKE UP THERE? IS IT GOLD? IS IT PEACEFUL AND GOLD?

Look at this girl! She made it to the upper floor!

golden temple inside carvings 466x700

Source: travelinda123

It looks gold and peaceful. 

A week or two ago I had yet another dream I was in Amritsar and I was in Harmandar Sahib and I went to the upper floor and it was comprised of a bunch of pink girly bedrooms like what even.

 

So is this a thing? Can people go to the upper floors in the Golden Temple? Also, will we be able to sit and listen to kirtan, or is it more like a quick in-and-out thing? Idek. 

 

 

Okay, so there they are. These are the things I want to do. What do you think? Good? Bad? Completely impossible? TELL ME. TELL ME SO I KNOW. 

 

I hope you have an AWESOME week! Remember that you are da bomb. You are Kanye West. 

M

 

 

 

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When brown people see each other in public…

…it goes one of three ways.

Scenario 1: STARE LIKE YOU JUST DON’T CARE

and i was just like--

and i was just like–

girl she did not sa--

girl she did not sa–

staring1

Wait…Is that…

staring5

…a brown person??

staring2

staring4

staring3

staring6

*20 minutes later*

staring2

staring5

but if one of you tries to wave? or acknowledge the other one in any way?

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coverblown1

WTH?? She’s actually acknowledging me?!?! ABORT. ABORT.

coverblown2

SO ANYWAYS GUYS HAHAHA.

SCENARIO 2:

Ignore like there’s no tomorrow. (Usually happens among the younger crowd.)

ignore1

Desi. 12 o’clock. Don’t make eye contact. I repeat. Don’t. Make. Eye contact.

ignore2

Oh god. Time to get my ignore on.

ignore3

ignore4

ignore8

ignore5

go away plz man

Aaaand finally…

Scenario 3:

Notice the other brown person, smile at them, maybe wave, and be on your way. 

Uhh..M?

Uhh..M?

…Pssst! Hrithik!! That was your cue, man!

I’m sorry M, but I still don’t understand this scenario? Acknowledge the other desi? Wave??

Oh my God. Hrithik. Just like we practiced, ok? Shahrukh will help you out, right Shahrukh?

Of...of course..

Of…of course..

Okay, great! Let’s try this again!

Scenario 3:

Acknowledge the person, and smile and wave to him/her!

hrithik22

good…

hrithik23

okay…

hrithik28

come on guys come on you can do this!

hrithik25

M! I can’t do this! 

hrithik24

I’ll be in my trailer.

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I’m sorry.

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ME TOO. HRITHIK OUT.


hrithik30

GUYS! GUYS COME BACK.

…Ok. Well…this is just awkward…

REALLY THOUGH. HAS ANYONE ELSE NOTICED THIS? WHY. WHY DO WE DO THESE THINGS. I’VE DONE IT. YOU’VE PROBABLY DONE IT. ALWAYS SCENARIOS 1 OR 2. NEVER 3. WHY??

If you’re a brown person! I challenge you! Next time you see a fellow brownie who you don’t know personally, try scenario 3! And I have a feeling this might go for other…groups? of people as well. Like, I don’t know, if you’re a blogger. And you see someone else who you know is a blogger but you don’t really know him or her. I have a feeling this would trigger scenario 1 or 2. I just have a feeling. Like the peas did.

So you try it out too, ok?!

Okay. I have an offended Shahrukh and a distraught Hrithik I need to take care of.

SEE YOU GUYS IN A WEEK. MAKE IT A GREAT ONE! SMILE LOTS! : ))))

-M

PS SORRY IF THIS WAS WEIRD, I DID IT IN LIKE .2 SECONDS I’M SORRY D:

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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Formerly North West Frontier Province) Alternatively, Oh Snap: When You Find Out You’re Not Just Punjabi

(This post is probably going to be on the informative side, just to warn those of you who come here mainly for the hasavat. I know I said last time it would be a funny one…but imma save that for a couple of weeks!)

Remember that documentary I watched?

Okay well one of the episodes was about North West Frontier Province, and I’m like in love with that place. And I’ve blogged about it sooooooo little. And it’s so fascinating. And diverse. And beautiful. And complicated. So I’m going to blog about it. Extensively : )

As I think you guys might have been able to guess, I’m constantly interrogating asking my grandparents questions about their childhoods, their parents, and their experiences, particularly from before they came to the States. And just when I think I have a good idea of pretty much everything, one of them will mention some small (or huge) detail about their lives that throws me a complete curve ball. I actually love it 🙂

One of the most memorable times this happened was when I was casually talking to my dad’s dad and a thought occurred to me.

“Darji, you’re parent’s were born in Punjab, right?” (Punjab being the region that everyone in my family is from…or so I thought.)

“No,” he replied casually.

“…Where were they born??” I asked.

He replied, “N.W.F.P”

These four letters meant nothing to me. I didn’t know squat about them, and I had never heard of the place they referred too. Now, whenever I hear these letters, thoughts of beautiful mountains, rivers (one of which my grandpa almost drowned in as a child), kebabs, isolated tribes, Malala Yousafzai, the Taliban, and, unfortunately, increasing violence come to mind. No one ever told me we come from the land of the Pashtuns. But now that I know, I will never forget.

So first of all, what IS N.W.F.P? Well, it’s a region in current day Pakistan that borders Afghanistan.

One of the most amazing things about North West Frontier Province, or Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as it was renamed in 2010, is that it. is so. diverse. At every turn you will find a new world with new people who speak new languages. One particular group of people that comes to mind is the Kalash.

source: http://photo.net/photodb/user?user_id=1784134

source: tumblr

Travel along some crazy dangerous mountain passes, and eventually you’ll reach Chitral, a region of Khyber Pakhtunkwa. In this area, the Kalash people live lives very different than those of the rest of their countrymen. Women never cover their faces (which I’m not trying to say is good or bad, just distinct), a different religion is practiced, a different language is spoken and…no one knows where they come from. Not even them lol. Some people say they are descended from Alexander the Great’s troops. But the thing is…so are a lot of Pakistanis and Indians. This would not be enough to explain their totally different culture. So really…who even knows. A lot of ethnic groups try to claim the Kalash, saying they are their ancestors. People seem to think they MUST come from somewhere else, because many of them are lighter skinned and lighter haired and have lighter eyes. But I don’t really see why that means they can’t be native Pakistanis. Many on the North Indian continent have lighter features. I think the bigger mystery is how they developed such a unique culture.

Unfortunately, the Kalash people are starting to fear the loss of their uniqueness, because of the influence of the world around them. I’m all for unity and everything, but I think it would be pretty cool if the Kalash could be all unified and stuff with the rest of Pakistan, while still maintaining their individuality, you know?

Okay. I’m going to show you more pictures now. Actually no. I show you video.

Okay. So CAN YOU BELIEVE that the Kalash are only ONE part of the amazingness that is Khyber Pakhtunkhwa?? Part II is going to drop next Monday, BUT I might post a little something every couple of days until Monday about Khyber Pakhtunkwa, because there’s soo much I want you guys to see. aghhgskdljfdksl.

Okay, also, my India trip is most likely still happening this December ( :DDDDDDDDDDDDDDD) and so I thought I’d go ahead and let you guys know in advance that I’m not going to be posting text posts while I’m gone (which will be late December-early January), but hopefully I’ll be able to post pictures and videos and stuff of my trip WHILE I’m actually in India! Technology man. Technology. And I’ll definitely let you guys know exactly when I’ll be gone sometime before we leave.

Okay. And I guess, other than that, sorry for the excessive use of caps in this post. Idk why that happened.

Have a beauuuuuuuutiful week,

-M : )

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