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some men who surrounded me

by Neha Maqsood

some men who surrounded me

karachi’s men are like trail

mix –

wide variety


motorcycle men who smugly exhale a


as they pass you by. beedy eyes dangling

just below the

neckline. (i wish I could stuff that mashallah

back in his mouth, reserve it for his wife


men openly masturbating to women 

running errands

                             going to school

purchasing makai. (i hope in the next life you’re 



men in crowded Sunday bazaars


your sister and her friend. (i wish you prayed to God

with those hands. possibly ask for guidance while you’re at 



old men on WhatsApp who forward degrading ‘wife jokes’ or

images of women in compromising positions. i wish your daughters hadn’t

checked their mothers’ phones. daddy's just like

other men, they thought.


men who practically amputate your arm

as they take 

your parking ticket. (i will slice your radial artery

before you take me into your world)


men who invite you on their bicycles with

leering gazes and dirty thoughts. (i’ll push you off and ride off into the 



men are like trail mix – get the

whole package, toss out the

distasteful ones.


* Mashallah – praise be to God

* Makai – corn on the cob


Neha Maqsood

Neha Maqsood is a journalist who has written for multiple publications ranging from but not limited to, the Tempest, Media Diversified, Brown Girl Magazine, Rife Magazine, Epigram, The Uni Bubble and That’s What She Said. For her efforts in tackling discrimination against People of Colour (POC) and increasing South Asian representation, she was listed as the 100 Most Influential BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) people in South-West England and was nominated for a UK National Diversity Award. She also starred in the 2018 film, Sisters in Arms, which premiered at multiple international film festivals in Toronto, Los Angeles, London, Kerry and Dingle.

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