In the third week of the nationwide lockdown, when only a few responsible hadn’t resumed casual roaming about the city, I sat across from the screen was my two and a half-year-old niece, who had recently started babbling words that made some sense. Our weekly meetings had been reduced to video calls, and her extroverted self was not taking it too well. So, her mother tried to explain why, all of a sudden, the whole world has come to a halt. Her attempt at consoling a preschooler proved productive and so the child, in return, started consoling me, when I…


Trans rights activists often send distress calls on social media and the content sometimes depicts extreme violence against trans individuals. Does this help their cause?

A two-minute video on a Facebook page, called Trans Action Pakistan, a transwoman is seen lying on a bed with a fractured foot and a backbone injury. She is talking about her plight at a hospital in Nowshera, that refused to admit her because there aren’t any beds for transgender people. Videos depicting violence towards the trans community make rounds on our social media every day. …


There was a time in 2019, when I was fired from a well-paying full time Multimedia Producer job. Coming from a very humble background, I did not know what it was like to not earn. I also did not know what it was like to have a safety net of ‘savings’ to rely on, because when you have responsibilities at a five people household, you never save. ‘Saving’ is a privilege. I was exhausted. Every night was a new job application mission and every other day was a rejection morning.

During this time, I was working as a freelance reporter…


The 2016 masterpiece, a claimed tribute to the glorious classic genre of the musicals, starts off with a ‘Step Up’ inspired stuck on a highway performance that introduces Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) as the starring cast. The director, Damien Chazelle, having a history of the intense ‘Whiplash’ holds a place, higher than that of a drawn-out Hollywood flick that flatters Hollywood itself, as La La Land altered it.

Mia is a barista and a struggling, every day auditioning actress for Hollywood (still drives around in a brand new Prius). Seb is an obsessed jazz musician, who plays…


I’m 23 years old and this has been my reality for almost a decade now.

Imagine a painful period. Not like “Oh, I’ll sleep it off and hopefully I can go to school/college/university/work in the morning,” but more like “Will I even wake up to see the morning?”

I’m 23 years old and this has been my reality for almost a decade now. In the months I didn’t get my period, I would actually be relieved and not tell anyone because I thought it was easier to live without a Red Wedding taking place in my uterus.

There’s crippling nausea…


Where do the women go in a fascist post-apocalyptic India, with a climate emergency that counts every sip of water?

When the widely followed anthology series Black Mirror failed to get the viewers’ attention Bandersnatch onwards, and after the acclaimed, The Handmaid’s Tale, based on Margaret Atwood’s book, started giving a drag-the-plot-for-more-views vibe, I stumbled upon Leila.

The Netflix original Leila, directed by, Deepa Mehta, Shankar Raman and Pawan Kumar, is based on a dystopic novel of the same name by Prayaag Akbar. …


These fierce bird-women are here to redefine your life.

“That’s the alarm that sounds when no women have spoken out loud for three minutes.” Tuca bursts out, when her best friend, Bertie, is being talked over by a male colleague during a work meeting, where she’s about to ask her boss for a promotion and is clearly the best candidate for the job but still falls prey to the tendencies of imposter syndrome that women have been fed into.

Tuca and Bertie, the revolutionary feminist animated series on Netflix is too raw and barefaced, because if work place harassment goes…

Manal Khan

I tell myself I can write on some days.

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