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To see this included in a collection of love stories was something I had not expected, and this act of inclusion deeply moved me.“Sex by Any Other Name” is a wonderfully uncomfortable read that explores virginity, perceived ownership of such a virtue, and the complications and anxiety that result when these phenomena are continuously confronted.Aisha Saeed’s “Leap of Faith” is a dream for any South Asian girl who’s had to go through strangeness of having her parents play matchmaker.
When Bollywood started to produce movies that involved more explicit love scenes, I remember my best friend, the least prejudiced person I know, saying “Aurgh, I don’t want to see that!
But it’s one thing to have these faint blobs of abstraction floating around in one’s consciousness.
And it’s quite another to be reading a succession of those stories by the women who own them.
For reading such works constituted an experience I could never have readied myself for. Being a single person who’s been feeling a bit shortchanged in the love department lately, I did at times have to face the demon of loneliness while reading the stories.
And being a Muslimah–which for me means having an inner universe that is shaped and conditioned by the moral tenets of the Islamic faith–means that the moral quandaries raised in some of those stories make reading them a gut-wrenchingly conflicted experience.