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Sheba Karim

Sheba Karim Photo by Anjali Bhargava

I fell in love with writing at an early age.  I used to write novels in spiral bound notebooks, complete with illustrations that I’d copied from somewhere else. None of these novels were ever completed; back then, I couldn't quite get past the beginnings of things.  My parents encouraged my writing, but, as hardworking Pakistani immigrants to whom medicine and perhaps engineering were the only feasible career paths, they felt it their duty to occasionally remind me, “Writing is a very nice past-time—for a doctor.”

I’m not sure why, but I stopped writing in high school.  In fact, I didn’t think about writing again in any serious way until sometime in law school (not being very good at science, I’d decided to pursue law instead of medicine).  After I graduated, I practiced family law for Legal Services in New York City, representing survivors of domestic violence who were primarily from South Asian countries.  It was good work; every day I did something tangible to help someone else and I grew close to some of my clients.  But the more I practiced law, the more I realized I didn’t want to be a lawyer, and the more I wondered why I had waylaid my dreams of writing.  I realized that, if I didn’t at least make a serious attempt to pursue a career as a writer, I’d always regret it, and spend the rest of my life wondering “what if.”  I began taki

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