اَلْغَوْل — Palvashay Sethi

The accursed ghazal occupies a specific but significant place in Pakistan’s socio-cultural milieu. Specific, because its subject concerns women – particularly those of a certain ilk, and significant because despite excluding men from this aesthetic and speculative enterprise, it does little to prevent them from talking about it. And talk about it, they do. Talk of the accursed ghazal accumulates and is pervasive, like a room full of smoke. It seeps into houses, travels up buildings, circles schools, hovers near universities, floats around churches, and spirals mosques; free to travel where it likes…

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Palvashay Sethi is content to exist on most days. She’s completed an MSc in Literature and Modernity from the University of Edinburgh and lives in her home town Islamabad, where she is in the throes of a second adolescence. @Palvashits

Image: gentle whisperMaria Teresa Ambrosi, Creative Commons.