My essay ‘Passing for Pakistani and the Two-Nation Theory‘ is up at Three Quarks Daily.
I am, supposedly, ‘Hindu’; my wife is similarly ‘Muslim.’ The scare quotes are there because we both regard our supposed ‘religious identities’ as ambiguous; we are not observant, but we were born into Hindu and Muslim families, and thus raised and acculturated into certain norms and cultural rites of passage–and their associated loyalties. (Such looseContinue reading “The Supposed Heritability Of Religion And Nationality”
Shortly after I first began writing on the ‘Net–way back in 1988–I noticed that there was, very often, a marked contrast between the online and offline personas of some of the writers I encountered online. (I am referring to a small subset of the writers I read online; these were folks who worked with meContinue reading “The ‘True Image Of A Writer’ And Online Writing”
Last week, the students in this semester’s edition of my Philosophical Issues in Literature class began reading and discussing Chaim Potok‘s The Chosen. (We have just concluded our discussions of Chapters 1-5 i.e., Book One, which details the initial encounters between Danny Saunders and Reuven Malter, the book’s central protagonists.) I had not read theContinue reading “Chaim Potok’s ‘The Chosen’: Talking About Religion, Identity, And Culture In A Philosophy Classroom”
A few days ago, I reported–on Facebook, where else–a conversation with my daughter that went something like this: Her: Papa, where’s India? Me: It’s a country in Asia, sweetie, on the other side of the world. Her: We can drive there? Me: No, we have to fly. I was born there, you know. I’m fromContinue reading “‘But I Am From Brooklyn’”
I often pass for Pakistani. In my zipcode, 11218, once supposedly the most ethnically diverse in the US, it isn’t too hard. I speak Urdu, but perhaps more importantly, given Pakistan’s linguistic and ethnic demography, Punjabi; I am brown-skinned (but not all brown folk are alike for I, given my linguistic capacities, cannot pass forContinue reading “Passing For Pakistani And The Two-Nation Theory”