Showing posts from July, 2006

Being Talked About

Life, Love and Assimilation received good feedback from many sources but it also provoked a number of negative reactions from both the public and people who I know personally. This week has been particularly interesting as East End Life (local newspaper distributed in Tower Hamlets) decided to run a review written in Bengali. 

What is it good for?

I am dreading another picture of a war-torn land; the one picture that will make me stop and stare, transfixed, letting it darken something inside me. I know it sounds melodramatic but that is exactly what happens. There are countless of “good” pictures of war and famine; pictures that effectively portray the horror and pain. The most famous, of course, is the picture of a young, naked Vietnamese girl running from a napalm attack on her village. 

Stem of my Belief

On certain occasions, when discussing ethical or particularly controversial issues, I have occasionally thought, “I wonder what Islam says about this,” with the obvious intention of adopting Islam’s stance as my own. Whilst this is the correct thing to do from my religion’s point of view, it does disconcert me to some extent. 

Nonpolitical Animal

I find myself clapping after a statement made by David Cameron MP. I stop mid-clap in shock and disgust. I look around to make sure that no one has witnessed this act, which of course will make it easier to pretend that it didn’t happen. There are many reasons why one would dislike Cameron; his tendency to change his views to suit his audience, the fact that he voted in favour of the Iraq war, disagreement with his political views and policies, etc etc so why do I personally dislike him?

I [Heart] London

I’m wilting. Wilting like a dead flower or a weeping willow or, erm, things that wilt. It is simply too hot. And I don’t want to be quintessentially British and complain about the hot weather (even though that’s exactly what I’m doing) so I will try and be positive. It’s great that we’re having nice weather. London in the summertime is beautiful and special and beautiful and special (it’s the heat). So special that Anthony Keidis even wrote a song about it. But it’s not hard for me to sing the praises of London in the summertime because I love London all year round.


Suzanne (from my publishers) calls me up to ask me about the shoot she mentioned. I tell her that I don’t really have time at the moment and anyway, I would rather put up pictures of me being me rather than me being a dolled up, air-brushed, sanitized version of me. Unfortunately she thinks this is a “great idea!” because I’m “more accessible that way”. “More accessible?” I say. “I’m already accessible! If I were more accessible, I’d be posting up my number in phone boxes across London.” She laughs and insists that I send a few pictures over. I sigh and relent.

A Suitable Boy

Now that I can comment on arranged marriage with some authority, I thought it was time I sat down and did so. I debated whether or not to talk about it since it is a personal matter but a) I think I’ve done all the “airing of the dirty laundry” I could possibly do and b) I think I owe it to the readers who used to follow my “Young, free and… desperate?” blog. Those readers can tell you that my parents were looking for a groom for over a year. This, in turn, prompted me to search for one on my own time. I know it’s not “the done thing” but I figured I could do a better job than my parents. 

A good idea?

I have Keny Arkana blasting angry lyrics in my ear but as I step through the doors of the Idea Store, I find my hands reaching to silence her. I think I’m still living in the age where you keep quiet in a library and though no one can hear her screaming in my headphones, I still silence her out of some archaic respect for libraries. I know that the idea store is not a library per se but it houses books and that is qualification enough for me. 

From Vanity to the Bonfire

So I was walking home yesterday and I passed a girl wearing a headscarf, which one would think is commendable but along with a headscarf she was also sporting a low cut top, skin-tight jeans and a thick layer of makeup. 

I’ll let you whip me if I misbehave

Ok, I’m sorry about the overly provocative title. I just wanted to make it official how much I love (love love) SexyBack; the new Justin Timberlake track. The absence of the Neptunes on his new album made me a little “hmm…” but this gets a definite thumbs up from my humble self. Go ahead, be gone with it.


Excuse me if this entry is a little disorganised. I’m feeling woozy from a mixture of Costa Coffee Frescato and Italy’s win last night. I had a relatively decent weekend. There was much controversy over my book but I’m not one to worry myself over that. Had a relatively decent shopping trip; I managed to find a suit in a size six so I would say that’s pretty successful! 

Books v. Bangles

A quick slap on the wrist to start the day since I am spending way too much money on unnecessary things (but are books really unnecessary?). I was hanging around in Borders yesterday (bookshops are almost my most favourite place in the world to be) waiting for a friend before dinner and I have to say the simple “3 for 2” idea is pure genius because people like me simply can’t walk out without buying some books. 

Coconuts and bananas

Semi-busy day. Started off with a quick chat with Sonia Deol on BBC Asian Network. They wanted an East Ender’s view on the Olympics a year on after London was elected as the host. Then I took the bane of my existence (the Northern Line) to work. Forgot to pick up a copy of the Eastern Eye (I have a short article in there this week) and finally made it into work. Late. But it’s ok because I’m here now. Listening to Otis. Wasting time.

iOn iThe iPod

Yes, I finally relented and became a fully-fledged member of the iPod generation earlier this year. After years of stating, “An mp3 player from Tesco can do exactly the same thing,” the seductive powers of the nano proved the futility of my resistance. Call me a conformist, I don’t care. I know I’m being paranoid but I can’t help but think that people use them as status symbols so I try to mask the fact that I’m one of “them” by using black headphones (it’s my neurosis, leave it alone). Anyway, here’s what’s on the playlist of this evil symbol of decadence.

We don’t call him Ismail

I am hereby publicly thanking a Mr. Kashif Ismail Ali for putting up with all my stupid questions (though one could argue that there is no such thing as a stupid question), teaching me about slaves and masters (not nearly as exciting as it sounds) and generally keeping my feet on the ground. No, we don’t call him Ismail. We call him our Sensei. Great Jedi Master upon High filled with limitless wisdom and knowledge.

Immaterial Girl

“You have got to be kidding me!” I say to my sister.
She shakes her head. “It’s fine. It’s pretty much average. They’ll be happy with that price.”
I look at the gold necklace, bracelet and earrings laid out in front of me. “But that’s three months’ salary! How can anyone possibly justify spending that much on useless tat?”
She gives me her best ‘Keep-your-voice-down’ look. “It’s not like we’re paying for it,” she says.
“I don’t care who’s paying for it. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I don’t even wear jewellery.”
“It’s tradition,” she tells me. “Whether or not you wear jewellery is immaterial.”
I start thinking about pawn shops.