I feel like I’m constantly falling in love with new people. Not romantic love; don’t be weird. But that kind of “oh my god I love your style/intellect/skills/what you have to say” love.
I recently met a woman named Zainab. From a Pakistani family, Zainab hails from Toronto, but her accent gives away the fact that she’s also got roots in the UK. She reached out in a Facebook group, looking for South Asian women (or non-binary/trans folks) to share their stories for a podcast she was starting called No Nazar. “Nazar” is the Urdu/Hindu word for evil eye, a concept that exists in nearly every culture… but has a very special place in ours.
The funny thing is that I had literally been scrolling through iTunes for the past few days, looking for podcasts by and about desi women. I had found a couple, but none with the same radical political/social beliefs as me (I’m sure they’re out there, I just couldn’t find them). After a few seconds of self-doubt and staring at her post in awe, I pushed myself to reach out to Zainab about my then-recently published article about South Asian weddings on The Tempest. I was honestly more excited to find out more about her project and when I could listen, but I figured, desis love weddings. My article and the discussion around desi wedding culture might be a perfect fit for her show.
Turns out, she’d actually already read it… a cousin had sent it to her. She invited me onto the show, and I spoke with her via Skype audio.
The podcast was fun as hell. Talking to Zainab about her vision for the show got me so hyped that I was eagerly awaiting this debut before I even found out I’d be the guest featured in it.
I’ve posted the episode above. Please do give it a listen, and share on social media where you can. It’s on Soundcloud for now, but I’ll update once it’s finally up on iTunes as well.
[Update: You can find the iTunes version here. Or just find No Nazar in your Podcasts app.]
I always fall in love when I meet a Pakistani woman who is unafraid to talk about the things that need to be said. No Nazar is one-woman show, and that one woman is absolutely someone worth following. Put this on your list of “Podcasts to Watch”. Zainab did a fantastic job with every aspect of the show, and she is such an insightful, intelligent, and creative person that it’s only going to get better from here.
Nazar na lag jaye.