My brain frantically scours for the line between the patience we have grown and groomed over these days on Umrah and the right to defend one's dignity against defamation -- not to mention an additional stand against an entire gender's general reduction into one, incapable stereotype -- but my mind quickly realizes we are way past this point.
The black silk was cold and soft. The protruding layers of thread that spelt out "Allah" in neat Arabic curls absorbed the tears and prayers sprayed at the cloth's delicate font, while still reflecting the flood of light that shone from looming construction cranes and endless spurts of cell phone flashes.
Nanda Devi is known as the "bliss-giving goddess," though the Sanskrit word "ananda," at the root of her name, is better understood as "contentment." Being an atheist, I seek the mountain more than the goddess, though the two are inseparable. Despite my disbelief, I have always appreciated the spiritual resonance of the Himalayas.