While many here may beg to differ, young Pakistani American writer Sheba Karim, who has made Delhi her home for one-and-a-half years now, feels the Capital is one of the most modern cities in the subcontinent for women. Karim, whose whose book, Skunk Girl, released last week, says, “The city is one of the most modern cities in the subcontinent for women. You can come here any time, you can get into an auto-rickshaw and move. In Pakistan, you don’t have the freedom of movement. I am not comfortable moving around in Pakistan alone. It is easy here.”
A chick-lit that probes the pangs of Asian young adults growing up in the US, it follows the life of a young girl named Nina. One of the biggest problems that Asian girls face while growing up in the US is “the pubescent conflict about dating and mingling with boys”, the writer says. “Boys become appealing and you see your American friends dating. But your family says you can’t date and cannot talk to boys. Having a different skin colour is another problem and small things like dealing with excess body hair...,” she muses.
Karim, a graduate of the New York University School of Law, worked for a South Asian Battered Women’s Project before earning a master in fine arts in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. But Karim’s parents cannot accept her as writer. “They want me to return to law, my profession,” she says. She has been staying in Delhi to work on a historical fiction on 13th century queen, Razia Sultana. “I am in the middle of the book,” she says.