There is already a profile, a closer look.

I write. Therefore I am.

'A Journey Interrupted: Being Indian in Pakistan', my emotional travelogue on the Indian Muslim perspective of Pakistan was out in 2008 (HarperCollins, India), and there is a story there. There are stories everywhere. Here is where to find all there is to know about the book.

Have written for over 25 publications on politics, society, media, gender, communalism, sexuality, film/TV analysis; an agony aunt too. The future then was a deadline.

There were several features – what are usually referred to as human interest stories – to take off from where the reports ended. Or, of people who have no voice but need to be heard.

I have relished doing interviews the most. It has been a symbiotic experience to meet politicians, activists, academics, scientists, actors, pimps, commercial sex workers, child labourers - it is a long list. Suffice to say that the celebrity and the common citizen give the writer a better understanding of herself.

Publications have found me inconvenient, and it has often been a mutual feeling. For an insight into the former, there is this.

I blog because I need to say something even if no one is listening. I breathe. Can you listen? No. Yet you know I live. (As you can see, I do not believe in the artifice of third-person usage to justify an existence.)

Your words matter, though, because even if I think I am an island, I might need to indulge in some intellectual cannibalism.

Join the repast.


  1. There is a intellectual rage within you, the world has no appetite for such sublime emotions as they whet on simplistic notions & primal urges.

  2. "Rage" and "sublime" go together? Thank you! I always knew it...I have nothing against primal urges, though.

    PS: Since this page is new, I did not check about comment posting here. This page needs to be updated. Appreciate your words.

  3. FV,
    Been through these portals after ages and love the new tabs - speecially the page that speaks ... and 'Blind'!

  4. Hello!

    Remember, this was your farmaaish! Thank you.

  5. If I may suggest slight dilution of the background red.

    I am sure there is an artistic reason for it but reds sprinkled on the main page seems fine but one splattered across the background feels gloomy to me.

    I am more of a green grass kinda guy :)

  6. I've done green & blue. Red is passion, so how does it make you gloomy? Maybe when I have a new layout. For now, ignore the background. Am willing to lend my blinkers :-)

  7. >> Red is passion

    Sure and it is also blood and sacrifice. I guess it is eye-of-the-beholder sorta thing.

    In any case, content has always been very colorful so ... :)

  8. from the looks of it , I have to say that you LOVE to write and write a lot, never seen a blogger who writes so much with so much alacrity and impatience. Some of your reasoning pertaining to the day to day affairs is great- would love to read all your writing in times to come.

  9. Thank you, Rizwan. Indeed, I do LOVE to write, but here must admit that as blogger I also upload my articles. Luckily, there is no conflict of interest!

    And, yes, this is the stuff I put up. What I write is, shall we say, a bit more?


    Hello, in all colours of the prism. Planning a change, but cannot decide. This red is just so beguiling for me...I get excited just looking at my own page :)

  10. About me: It's been there for ages now, and I often asked myself how intriguing one can write this and I believed I saw it all, until I came here. Refreshing!

  11. Ankeet:

    Thank you! We do see it all from one perspective, and then see it again from another.

  12. Took up "a journey interrupted" just by chance yesterday. i found it so engrossing that its difficult to put it down just like a dan brown novel. i have always been interested in pakistan. my friends make fun of me for it but i want to visit this country which was just a couple of generations back a part of us. what to make of it? it seems emotions there operate at two levels. at the national level the pakistanis find it difficult to reconcile to anything Indian but at the personal level things are much more cosy or so i have heard. i read naipaul's account of it but dealt with a pakistan which no longer exists today. i read taseer's book which was magnificent but at least he had some emotional connection with that land and he did not have to encounter which you may have. so your journey is something i can connect to. of course i am a non-muslim but does that really matter once you are there. or does it?

  13. Sahir:

    Well, thank you, but Dan Brown? Okay, I'll take it, if only for his vast reach...

    It's good that you have read a variety of books on Pakistan, and you are right that I'd probably be your best bet!

    As for being a non-Muslim, you'd be better taken care of there. Indian Muslims are seen as baggage in some quarters.

    Hope you can make the trip some day.

  14. For my dear readers. As you can see, I've changed the look of the blog, as I do every year or so. Feedback welcome. If you ask me, it looks kickass ;-)

    Also, there has been a long break and I will probably be writing in spurts...

    Hope you have been 'virtually' involved in wonderful things, if not real ones!

  15. I have updated this page, or rather altered it a bit...it still needs to be filled up, but I am watching the calories...

  16. "intellectual cannibalism"

    Very strange pick of words, from all the flowery niceties in English! How odd!
    I'm sure you enjoyed the movies about Dr. Hannibal Lecter, I thoroughly did.

  17. Dhanus Menon03/11/2012, 11:52

    In your article "Leave the Indian muslims out of this", It is not utter Hogwash to leave the Indian muslims out. Anytime the muslims somewhere has an issue they come out like mad dogs destroying public property. The recent case of the so called anti prophet film and we saw what happened in chennai and other cities. Riots in Myanmar and we saw the reaction of the so called secular Indian muslims. You may / may not be a believer but you are surely that cultural muslim who dreams of the caliphite. You dont need to publish this, this is for your information

  18. Dhanus Menon:

    Wonder why you did not post it on the relevant piece. I've published it because it reveals a mindset other than mine. It reveals a judgement that wishes to pigeonhole a person despite assuming to know something. It tells me more about you than about me. And it's nice to knwo other people too...



    Since I am here (although you are not, at least not visible), let me reiterate what should have been obvious: I don;t do "niceties". Hope you are well...

  19. FV,

    QUOTE: "Wonder why you did not post it on the relevant piece."

    Perhaps because (s)he saw that the last comment there had gone unanswered...?

  20. Happened to visit your blog for the first time only the other day to read about the Vande Mataram furore (left a comment then).

    Have just read your Mallika Sherawat piece - a very solid response to all those who love to pick on the likes of Mallika but will accept any sort of nonsense from biggies like Aish and Priyanka.

    And I absolutely LOVE this intro - am only wondering why it took me SO long to discover this blog!

    Thank you - I'm sure I'm going to be a regular from now on. :-)

  21. Hello, Raja, and thank you! Sometimes, it does take long to find things...perhaps we don't even know if this is what we wanted, to begin with. Hope to get your feedback, as and when you feel like doing so.

    Appreciate your words. Always encouraging, however long one has been around...

  22. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  23. I use the word 'out-ellectual' to describe either Rushdi and Naipaul, though I like the kind of prose they write.
    But I think you are quite 'in'. That's why you're 'out'

  24. This sounds quite intriguing, and even nice. But..am I out because I am 'in', or because I am 'out'side 'in'?

    Anyhow, thank you for stopping by and commenting. I relish a bit of complexity too...

  25. Farzana,

    What is your email address and what is your ethnicity?

  26. Farzana,

    I figured it all out. I managed to get your email off your blog and I was able to determine your ethnicity (I hate that word actually). My email:


    I read your articles on Counter Punch (and I enjoy them). Look me up if you come to Canada. Are you interested in travel writing? I know you have a book on Pakistan but have you done some travel writing apart from that?



  27. Hello Sitwat:

    Am glad you figured out the ethnicity, for I'd be hard put to do so myself!

    I've travelled, and I write on pretty much everything that I do (and sometimes don't), so yes I have written about places I've visited, included Canada. My book is not a travelogue.

    Thank you for stopping by to comment.

  28. Actually, at first I thought that you might be a Parsi but then it occurred to me that you could be an Iranian who was hiding from the Mullahs and writing from some undisclosed location in Tehran. Some sort of a covert operation, I suppose. Sorry about that but I am not that familiar with Indian writers.

  29. Hey Farzana,
    I just read your article on CounterPunch. Very interesting read. I think these are testing times for India with Modi leading the pack..

    With Modi winning a national election after such a tainted past, I think its a lesson which the other opportunistic politicians have learned.

    i.e. An easy way to rise to the top is by demonizing the most vulnerable in the society by appealing to the prejudices in majority population.

    That i believe is the most dangerous precedent that has been set in the county which will have grave consequences for the future of India.

    What do you think?

  30. am so glad to have discovered your blog today.
    Such powerful writing !

  31. Sab, Nadi, Ideology ...

    Hope you keep reading and, if you feel like, leave a comment on the specific post.

    Many thanks for your kind words.

  32. Taha Mahmood05/06/2014, 02:05

    hmm...you know how you feel when you are thinking of using the right words to praise someones art and knowing back of your mind that you are not even good enough to do it!! duh!! going by your wits, maybe you don't. :) your work has a new admirer and i feel very small today...sob sob

  33. Taha:

    I would have thanked you, but if my work makes you feel small then that's not a good thing at all. I like the idea of my writing making readers into fellow-travelers (the occasional road rage notwithstanding!).


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