Many years ago my best friend and I hit the high street for a shopping session, when a strange feeling washed over me. “We’re going to see C*****,” I said, a boy who had been my high school sweetheart. Once the realisation came to me I was wracked with nerves and anticipation, vibrating with the certainty that it would happen. Shortly after, we bumped into him. “You must have known he was coming,” my friend said, disappointed he’d interrupted our shopping mission. But I really hadn’t known he was coming to town. That was a premonition that stuck with me.
Here’s a short video I did (before lockdown!) on all things mental health, finding peace through positive thinking and working towards self-acceptance.
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.
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.
Dictator, your love is cruel and commanding
You hand it out in drips and drabs so I’m euphoric when you mark my skin and make my insides ache
This is how you retain power for inconceivable lengths of time
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.
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.
I saw my neighbour in the waiting room
She smiled at me as if we were just passing each other on the street
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.
I recently turned 30, and it was bittersweet – I don’t miss my twenties; I can look back and say although heightened self-awareness brought more anxiety, I am a better person than I was a decade ago. As I welcomed a new era, I saw myself for who I was and the wisdom I gained and it felt significant, character strengthening.