• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This book situates current research into the sexual cultures of South Asia within a cross-cultural perspective. The book argues that in societies undergoing rapid social and cultural change, the construction of sexuality and the discourses that gather around it have a fundamental connection with an entire range of processes - social, cultural, economic, political and global - with which people must engage. The contributors have studied sexuality as a site around which social and cultural ideas may be expressed.

Rekhti: Impersonating the Feminine in Urdu Poetry
Rekhti: Impersonating the feminine in Urdu poetry

Teri faryad karun kis se zanaakhi tu ne

Yih meri jaan jalaayi kih Ilahi taubah

To whom can I complain of you, my dear?

God, but hasn't your harshness scorched my soul!

Insha' Allah Khan ‘Insha’

Tis pairu men uthi uhi miri jaan gayi

Mat sitaa mujh ko dogaana, tire qurbaan gayi

This throb in my nether regions has nearly killed me

Dear One, don't tease me, you've already done me in!

Sa'adat Yar Khan ‘Rangin’

For nearly three hundred years the Urdu ghazal has figured among the most popular art forms of South Asia. Deriving from the Perso-Arabic literary tradition, the ghazal's highly conventionalised aesthetics can tend toward the complex, the metaphysical and the philosophical while also satisfying less arcane romantic ...

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