Categories
Thinkpieces

Riz Ahmed is king of the jungle in Mogul Mowgli

Riz Ahmed’s latest offering feels very apt for 2020, with its central theme dancing around the fear that comes with the reality of our existence. Riz plays Zed, a British Pakistani rapper residing in New York and on the cusp of ‘making it’, getting ready to embark on a US tour. But first, Zed decides to go home to London to check in with his family.

The first moment of the movie where your heart drops is when Zed has a moment alone in the bathroom and he punches his leg in an attempt to feel it. We all know what a dead leg feels like, but the scene evokes a feeling of dread. It later turns out that Zed has an autoimmune disease.

Categories
Travel

Escaping a Pandemic (for one night, at least)

Before the pandemic, I travelled so much I felt like a Nomad. Truth be told, I find it hard to stay in one place for too long – my mind and soul need the respite of new surroundings to maintain sanity. So this year has been hard – for the first time in my life, I was forced to stay in one place. 

Categories
Work

Mental Health Awareness Week

Here’s a short video I did (before lockdown!) on all things mental health, finding peace through positive thinking and working towards self-acceptance.

Categories
Poems

Not Your Spice Girl

Much of South Asian literature is themed around food – milk and honey, saffron and cinnamon, jalebis and gulab jamuns, turmeric and mangos. Our food is electric in hues, decadent, an explosion of flavour, medicinal in nature.

I get why food takes centre stage in South Asian literature; alot of our parents expressed their love through food. While South Asian cooking is a part of my identity – after all, our ancestral land was colonized in some part for those commodities – it’s not a significant part of my story as a person.

Categories
Thinkpieces

The Churel and other mythical legends

For hundreds of years in Dominican folklore, people have spoken of the legend of ‘La Ciguapa’ – a beautiful woman who can be found roaming through the trees at night. She has dark features, piercing eyes and hair that swings past her waist; the only way you can tell she’s something other than human is by her backwards facing feet. La Ciguapa’s hypnotic beauty usually reels men in before they notice the oddity below her ankles – and then she eats them alive.

Categories
Work

Speaking about love in the Guardian

Hello, it’s me. Last month (December 2019) The Guardian published a piece on the 1969 Divorce Reform Act, reflecting on how it has impacted and shaped families since. The piece was written by thee amazing Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, who asked me to take part after reading my work on the complexities of how your own family structure goes on to shape your personal relationships as an adult. You can read the piece here or scroll on to take a peek of it.

Categories
Thinkpieces

On ‘The Afghan Girl’

I want to start noting stories that deserved more than they received, so here goes. ‘The Afghan Girl’ is one of the more known stories when it comes to exploration of eastern narratives. I always felt a strange connection with this photo – I saw it when I was a teenager and I immediately felt like I could have been her, she could have been me, life is a bizarre lottery.

Categories
Work

Watch: My BBC Short Film

In May 2019, Muslims around the world fasted for the holy month of Ramadan. As someone who has experienced mental health issues, it can be a difficult time of year to stay focused and motivated, especially when you have no family around to encourage you, and work long hours.

Categories
Travel

Seeking Serenity in Mexico

“In the magnificent fierce morning of Mexico one sprang awake, a new part of the soul woke up suddenly, and the old world gave way to a new.” – D.H Lawrence

Categories
Work

BBC Asian Network: Talking addiction in South Asian communities

It don’t really know what to say about this one. I wrote something very personal about having an alcoholic in the family and how that affected me mentally. I was invited to the BBC’s Asian Network to discuss my article with Nihal Arthanayake and speak to listeners going through the same thing.