Elizabeth Avellán plants seeds of change through Connecther film fest

I love this biographical piece about Elizabeth Avellan, producer and co-owner of Troublemaker Studios. She supports Connecther, a local crowd funding non-profit that supports women’s causes and holds the Girls Impact the World Film Festival once a year. This article was published in the Statesman Austin360 in April 2019.

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Home Growers Give Back

My first article in a printed magazine! I wrote for Edible Austin Magazine (March/April 2019 issue) about how home grown fruits and vegetables can be donated to food pantries whatever the quantity as fresh produce is of great value. The article also talks about the philanthropic work of Whole Food and Sprouts in this regard.

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Making Space - Austin Artist Nadia Waheed Develops an International following

Nadia Waheed breathes, thinks, does everything art. And she takes art to the level that it becomes a movement. This article for the Tribeza (February 2019) explains how this young artist is on a mission to bare her soul in her journey to perfection.

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"Other Forms of Life" at the Contemporary Austin - With her mysterious and compelling artwork, Huma Bhabha puts us face to alien face

New York based artist, Huma Bhahba, exhibited her work at Contemporary Austin from September 2018 to January 2019. This article talks about what her work taught me and how I came across her. This article was published online and in print in The Austin Chronicle on September 14, 2018.

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Austin, Austen and Austenistan

If celebrated British novelist, Jane Austen was alive, she would probably think there is a spelling mistake in the word Austin.  She would have wondered if Austin, a city with the same name but a different spelling, needs spell-check. She would be intrigued by Austenistan for sure. Here is my article from Austin South Asian published on May 1, 2018 discussing that.

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Austin Arts Hall of Fame inductee gives microphone to hidden voices

Austin Art Hall of Fame Inductee Anuradha Naimpally is an artist who uses her expertise to call attention to hidden voices in a society. It leaves a huge impact on the audience. I wrote about her for the Austin-American Statesman on June 4, 2018.

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Review: Flamenco India - Oliver Rajamani tells a story of migration in music and dance

This article was published in The Austin Chronicle on May 9, 2018, when I had just attended Oliver Rajamani’s concert at the ZACH Theater in Austin. The performance was in part an effort to raise awareness of the University of Texas' Romani Archives and Documentation Center, the largest collection of its kind in the world. Flamenco is a storytelling dance that blends cultures through migration told through music and dramatic movements designed to convey emotion of a message of long ago. 

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Mohsin Hamid Speaks to Mayor's Book Club

My first published article with The Austin Chronicle, April 16, 2018! Mohsin Hamid, best selling author of Exit West, and someone whose writings I have followed from Moth Smoke was in Austin. I wrote, “There was a familiarity about the evening. It seemed like no one was a stranger there. Austin, the heart of Texas, and Hamid, the heart of reason, were thinking alike. How could people who had never met before – or even been in the same city – be so comfortable with each other?”

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Balance the inside with the outside and liberate yourself at 40

When a friend turned forty, I decided to gift her books on my reading list.  I had crossed forty a few years earlier and to me, books seemed the ideal gift. “Words would be of value,” I thought.  In the the birthday message, I wrote, “From now on it is more about balance of the inside with the outside. “  This was published in the Austin South Asian on February 1, 2018.

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SXSW, ‘Big Sick’ show influence of South Asia on the arts in Austin

So happy to announce my first feature in Austin-American Statesman!  I enjoy every minute of the writing experience... It makes me continue to grow as a person.

This article is about the South Asian influence in SXSW.  Interactive, Music and Film - each category had the South Asians and especially Pakistani's taking part and drawing crowds.  A big hit at SXSW was Kumail Nunjiani's The Big Sick.  The film was so well appreciated that it was released on the big screen soon after.  

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A Twitter of Feelings Around World Cup Cricket

When the Indian and Pakistani Cricket teams reached the finals in the World Cup Cricket 2017 at the Lords Stadium in London, Rishi Kapoor, a Bollywood Film Star,  published a Tweet in support of the Indian team and went on to criticize the Pakistani team.  This started an online back and forth with people from each side showing support or feelings of hurt against Rishi Kapoor.  I wrote about Rishi Kapoor's following on social media and how it all worked out in his favor while sitting in my hotel room in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  

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South Asian Pop Sensation performs in Austin at a Concert of Sorts

Austin has become a satellite city for South Asian concerts in Houston and Dallas.   Once a star is in Texas for a big concert, the Austin organizers try to secure last minute dates for a smaller gig like concert.  The stars are also keen to test the Austin waters with it's live music scene.  What happens is fun of the crazy sort.  This is what gladly makes Austin weird!

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In Memoriam: When I Met the Edhis

I was on flight from Austin to NYC when I read on social media that the world famous humanitarian Abdus Sattar Edhi, had died due to Kidney failure at the age of 91.  While the news was expected, I could not believe how strongly it still hit me.  I was transported to my childhood when my mother had tagged me along to meet his wife.  How I was influenced by who I met, I did not recognize at the time, but when I look back now, I say, "O yeah, I guess that is why I too do community service in Austin."

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Mindy Kaling in Austin at the Teen Book Festival

I wrote this article for the Austin South-Asian. A fan of Mindy Kaling, I went to hear her talk at St. Edwards early morning at the Texas Teen Book Festival.  I almost didn't go, thinking I was too old for the event, but decided to push my boundaries. I'm so happy I did. I saw so many women like me sitting there amidst the college students – all of us just enjoying Mindy's humor and earnest advice.

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"Desi" Kids at ACL

I love ACL.  I think every high schooler should start attending it once he or she is ready. My daughter showed first inclination to head that way in tenth grade.  At that time, my husband and I went along and separated from her and her group of friends once we dropped them.  We agreed to meet at a marked location and set some rules. Subsequent years, its pick and drop and learn as you go.  Now I decide when I am going,  and my daughter makes her own plans.  Invariably, she decides to go one day with me as she say, "You always manage to have the most fun!"  I secretly love to hear that.

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Should We Leave Behind Pakistan?

Life is busy and it gets busier if you belong to two cultures.  I struggled with space on my calendar when a famous personality from Pakistan came to UT Austin to deliver a talk.  My dad happened to know him and while I took dad to the talk, after tending to family activities, I asked myself why I needed to put both cultures on top priority all the time.  Whether it's worth it or not, played upon my mind as I drove back and forth for it in heavy downpour.

This article was first published in the Mangobaaz, an online publication emulating Buzzfeed.

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