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.
It don’t really know what to say about this one. I wrote something very personal to me about having an alcoholic parent, and how that hurt 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.
So – my girl Chaz and I have started a podcast called Spilling My Chai! There are so many incredible podcasts out there, and initially I was worried ours would get lost in the digital sea of online voices – but we decided to go for it anyway. Why, you ask? Because we really wanted to create a safe space where we could express brutal honesty without shame or fear.
I was recently invited to the BBC to take part in The Big Debate on BBC Asian Network and yes, I almost wet myself in a fit of nerves but yes, it was also an experience I thought worth sharing.
How are you? No, seriously, are you good?
Can I start this post by sharing something I read recently?
1. Relax your brows
2. Let your tongue fall from the roof of your mouth
3. Unclench your jaw
4. Let your shoulders fall away from your ears
Don’t you feel more relaxed? I am.
Anyway, I realise I have neglected my blog AGAIN. How is time moving so fast? I swear, I blink and a month has passed. I’ll have grey hairs by the time I stop binging every series available on Netflix.
So, while it feels like no time at all since I last updated this blog, it’s actually been months – but I’ve still been writing. You know me (unless it’s your first time here – in which case, run while you can) if I’m not writing, I feel absolutely useless. So please, allow me to catch you up on my latest ramblings.
Dear, sweet summertime of 2018 is reaching its end (having said that, it’s August and is already looking miserable as f*ck, so maybe it’s already ended). Anyway, I still remember the start of summer so clearly – it marked the start of Ramadan, a holy month for Muslims where we abstain from all the things we usually take for granted from sunrise to sunset. It’s a real test of mental strength and is a great detoxing process of the body, cleansing everything from your blood to your mind. And no, you can’t even drink water in those hours.
This year I really struggled to get through it – I was having a hard time with my mental health and I beat myself up about it alot. So I wrote about battling depression during Ramadan and why ultimately, the best thing you can do is be kind to yourself.
Speaking of Gal-Dem, I wrote something else for them which was scary to write, but one of the things I am most proud to have written, because microaggressions are real and I was sick of being made to feel I was mad. The reality is, being a WoC in England can be tough. You become highly attuned to the energy of those around you for the sake of self-preservation. I wrote about how I am made to feel on public transport sometimes, and I was so touched at the response I got. So many women empathised. If you have read it, thank you. If you haven’t, you can read it here.
I don’t know if you knew this, but I used to wear a hijab. I loved it for how it made me feel, but I didn’t feel ready to represent Islam in such a public way, so I felt like the most respectful thing was to take it off while I discovered who I was and got certain (admittedly haram) things out of my system… I wrote about it for MuslimGirl, an awesome website based in the US.
Let’s talk about hair, bay-bee. How is yours? Mine is coarse, frizzy and dry, thanks to my bleaching the living hell out of it. Everytime I go to hairdressers on the high street I feel like they don’t understand how to style or cut my hair… unless I pay an extortionate amount to see the highest qualified person. Whether you’re from Syria or Sri Lanka there’s a chance you might have experienced the same thing – which begs the question – why do we not have any swanky salons dedicated to our hair type (that I know of)?
I know a lot of LGBTQ people. Some of them are happily married, some of them are single in Soho living their best lives, some of them are still coming to terms with who they are, and some of them have spent their life trying to deny who they are. It’s a tough job trying to accommodate your faith, family and culture with your sexual identity. I wrote a piece of fiction based on all the love, passion and painful stories I have heard over the years, covering the conflict in something that should be so easy – love.
I think I’ve left you with enough of my ramblings! Until next time, baby girl.
Love, Maz x
Watching the artists you root for on the road to achieving their aspirations is an inspiring thing. The 2015 BRIT Awards were aired last week (February 25) and Kanye West’s performance was certainly a highlight.
Albeit largely muted live, ‘All Day’ saw ‘Ye rap surrounded by around 50 dudes in all black everything – including the likes of Skepta, Stormzy, Novelist, Krept & Konan, Jammer and other notable faces from the grime / UK rap scene.
It took me back to when I caught up with Skepta in the autumn of 2013 for MTV. “If there was one person I could work with it would probably be Kanye West,” he told me.
A little while back I did a Q&A with the beaut Neelam Gill, which was pretty exciting – this girl be killing it. The Coventry-born 19-year-old has already made an epic move in her career when she became Burberry’s first ever Indian model, joining names such as Cara Delevingne and Kate Moss. We talk about her most memorable runway show thus far, favourite Tupac lyrics and not being afraid of dancing for a dare.
On October 12 I ventured down to the SEE Arena in Wembley – it was the first time I had been to the Wembley Arena, and I understood why on my journey – it’s MILES AWAY from where I live, near Croydon. But I thought Kevin Hart‘s HartBeat Weekend was worth trekking down to Wembley for – on a Sunday, in the rain…