me during this entire snowstorm ❄️💁🏽♀️☃️
hiiiii my nephew was just born 😢😢😢🥰🥰🥰🥰 i am sooooooo eager to cuddle him and watch him do super impressive things like lay around and sleep all day. and dress him up in the cutest clothes!! so excited to welcome him to this world and watch the greatest mom raise him🐛🦋♥️🥰
getting back into the swing of illustrating some new poems by revisiting old ones 🤫🦋the first few drawing days are always a bit odd but eventually you get the hang of it (yesss that’s the pen i designed with @madebyaspeth and the music is by my sweet friends @_keeratkaur + @soundsbywise )
i usually end and begin the year by reflecting on goals i accomplished and then i set new ones. i write down all the ways i want to improve and do better. when i tried to do that this week...a wave of anxiety took over my body and i realized what i actually needed was to finally learn how to be where i am. sit with what i have. rather than run off to where i want to be. don’t get me wrong: self-improvement is great. it’s gotten humanity pretty damn far. but the cult of constant self-improvement can rob us of satisfaction in our present moment. so i’m learning how to sit. look around. get familiar with my surroundings. learn about them. get to know them. before i run off to the next thing.
a special new project calls for a special new shirt. sup 2020 you’re not ready 😏
my decade poem cause 2009 feels like another life ago. yet it was here just yesterday. it all moved so quick. time trips the helllll outta me so here’s a few words inspired by how far we’ve come and how far we’ll go💎💓💎💓💎💓
happy birthday lil sis 🥳 💓💫🙆🏽♀️
what’s been happening in india over the past few months has been heartbreaking. over 145 days ago kashmir was shut off from the world by the indian government. access to media and information was severely restricted. we have no way of knowing what kind of terror kashmiris are facing on the ground. (in fact, the current 145 day internet shutdown is the longest ever for any democracy! ) while the government & national media propagates a massive misinformation campaign - those on the ground including brave activists and journalists have been sharing what’s actually happening inside kashmir. and the truth is terrifying. to make matters worse - the indian gov’t enacted the citizenship amendment act on dec 12. it’s a piece of legislation that discriminates against the country’s muslim community. caa - along with the proposed implementation of the national register of citizens (nrc ) and the building of MASSIVE detention centers in the northeast highlight a terrifying repressive trend in the country. in reaction - students and concerned citizens have been on the streets protesting. the gov’t has responded to protesters with violence. internet blackouts. and attacks on their freedom of speech and movement. 25 have been killed with thousands detained over the past 2 weeks. attacks on minorities have been a constant legacy of the indian state. whether on dalits. sikhs. christians. muslims. women. and countless more. the human rights abuses we are seeing now are routine for the state. coming from the sikh community who knows intimately the terrors that are unleashed when the media is either absent or complicit with the actions of the government - i’ve long hoped for much more objective international media coverage of the country. instead - what we’ve seen here again and again is western media parroting propagandized talking points straight from the indian government - while alienating any voices of dissent. as someone who became an immigrant directly because of systemic state sponsored violence in india - i stand with my muslim & kashmiri brothers and sisters throughout the country as they fight for their rights and freedoms. i am with them on their march toward liberty.
this week ten years ago...i recited my first spoken word poem at a community event held in a basement with about 25 people in the audience. what a journey through poetry this decade has been. amazing what perseverance. passion. and a makeup artist will do to you 😂♥️ thank you for a dream decade 💎💎💎💎
wishing you warmth ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️
you will never be more present than when you step onto a stage. you will finally stop searching your past and anticipating your future. let me tell you. there is no place more powerful. the stage will transform you. it will swing you high and drop you low. the stage is where you will finally escape yourself. the only place where you can step into your wildest dreams. the stage is the heartbeat. it is alive. a giant. every evening before a show i get on my knees and place my hands on the stage and surrender myself to it. ask for its blessings. i beg the stage to use me. to make me its vessel. to work through me. to amplify me. to love the world through me. and i whisper i am nothing without you. and i am everything with you. ♥️ photos from my last rehearsal of the decade shot by @amritasinghphoto
this time of year is always a soft nostalgic one. where things slow down just a bit. enough to give me some time to process the wild ride the past 365 days have been. the lessons learned. things lost and won. the joys and sorrows of another year. and all the hopes for the new one.
philly you brought out another side of me last night. the spunk. the attitude. the fire and spirit doesn’t come out at every show. but i felt your presence take over the theatre and i had to meet you half way. thank you for being my last show of the decade. ♥️ here’s to the next. and many many more with the best readers in the world. i love you. you are darlings. thank you for making my dreams come true.
sometimes home is a smell. of diesel and smoke and spices. home is street food. juice stands. home is a taste. home is a salvar kameez. a corn field. home is car horns honking without a care in the world. home is a film. that you’ve seen a hundred times. home is the local cinema. the town jeweller. your family clothier. home is where elders gather in the evening. home is the back of a motorcycle. dawn. a pot of tea simmering on a stovetop. the visa office. a bus stand. busy streets with bright lights. the sound of prayers ringing through the village in the morning. sometimes after years you go back. realize home is gone. the one you knew is somewhere in the past. and you’re wondering where home is now.
yesterday we went to @icaboston and i was blown away by their current exhibits. they were refreshing and vital to the narrative of our times. one of my favourites was a series of photos of artifacts found at the border from california to texas (by richard misrach ). and can we just talk about the artwork pictured here. by the incredible vivian suter. vivian your work is soothing and vivid. i think this is going to have to become a part of my tour ritual. hit up a local museum or gallery before every show to soak up artistic genius!!?! i think sooooo. what are some of your favourites? i’m starting a list for next year✍🏽
boston!!!! thanks for coming out in the cold and spending a snowy thursday with me. i hope i was able to warm you up☺️ cause you def got me all flustered. i feel loved and held. what a crowd what a crowd. love you loads. until next time ♥️♥️♥️♥️
our voice is one of our greatest powers. but so many of us go through most of our lives without stepping into our voice. because somewhere along the journey of our life we were silenced. we were constantly told that we were wrong. not smart enough. ill-informed. that we lacked value. our voice was so shamed that this place of silence became our normal. our familiar place. and although now our circumstances may have changed. and we may not be around the people and situations that feared our voice. we still do. because we don’t know any other place to be. and carving out a new place is hard. we remain quiet because we haven’t given ourselves permission to burst open and let the world hear our song. so we have to speak up. be louder. we have to share our stories. even if it makes us uncomfortable. we have to pull each other up. create a new normal.
hands upppp if you exited your mothers womb with a unibrow 🙋🏽♀️🙋🏽♀️🙋🏽♀️🙃
LONG BEACH WHaT THE HELL WAS LAsT NIGHT. YAALL WERE FREAKY what did you smoke before you got to the show 😂😂😂😂 i CaME TO LIFEEE with your energy. no words. you blew me away. YEsSs to all the love. all the yelling out your kindness at me. all the cussing the laughter and tears. this is the energy we’re taking into 2020 ✔️💫fuck the rest 🙃🙃also can i just say. @maryamkeyhani thank you for this incredible costume. it had me feeling like a vision. (📷 @amritasinghphoto )
some old school #milkandhoney magic for your friday 💫💫💫💫 who’s coming to the long beach show tonight ?!? 7 hours to go