when you grow up

What do you want to be when you grow up?

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A kid lacking ambition is … weird.

They present a special kind of challenge. One of: What do we do with this one? She clearly lacks direction.

Like she’s meant to have her role in the world defined and decided by age 9.

But when your parents are South-Asian, expectations of you as a child are very different to what’s typical in the west. Read More

dead dad

Welcome to the dead dad’s club

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Welcome to the dead dad’s club.

It’s that club where the price of entry is a dad that’s no longer alive.

The name kinda gives it away.

Losing your dad’s very different to losing your mum.

Anyone that’s lost a parent will tell you that.

Of course it is – they both play unique roles in our lives. Bring different qualities to the relationship. Nurture you in their own way.

When I lost my dad, I hadn’t realised it would change how the community viewed my family. Read More

past prison

BREAKING NEWS: Your Past Isn’t a Prison

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Stop feeling undervalued because
Your parents weren’t born in this country. They speak the national language with an accent that, to some misguided fools, implies they’re inferior. As if they’re here through force than destiny. They’re labelled immigrants, rather than expats. And that you’re a direct reflection of them. NEWSFLASH: You’re not.

You are courageous because
You’re willing to do what others don’t even see. Your stamina for life is awe inspiring. Because you don’t allow all those times your parents judge you to lead you to hate them. Because you believe in good. You do the work. You see the struggles … and you still smile. Read More

know you're asian

You Know You’re Asian When …

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I wasn’t going to say it (too late – IT’S HAPPENING) but …

Asians are strange

I’m talking wearing-pants-as-head-gear, drinking-wine-at-7am, meet-my-imaginary-friend, plain S-T-R-A-N-G-E.

I should know – I am one (don’t let the born-in-the-UK-now-in-Paris facade fool you).

And there’s nothing stranger than the childhood an Asian kid experiences in the West.

Forget the constant battle with where do I call home? or when’s the right time to critique mother’s cooking? (answer: there isn’t one. See also: her cooking has mystical qualities), Asian children have a lot to handle. Read More

move back home

Is it time you move back home?

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My bags were in the car. My belongings reduced to three suitcases. Go time.

As I hugged the kids, I simultaneously dreaded saying goodbye to my mum.

She and I hadn’t exactly seen eye to eye on my move.

We’d made an agreement twelve months prior. I’d let the divorce progress quietly, and in return, I could move out.

It was mortifying. A 24 year old bargaining with her parents like she’s still in her teens.

But it was the only way we could both get what we wanted. Read More

Understand me

Why Don’t They Understand Me?

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Every time the conversation that requests I move back home ensues, it goes a little something like this:

Family: Enough is enough. Make your plans to move back. You should be with us.

Me: Apart from one, the rest of my friends all live in a different part of the country. Moving back would take the kinda money I don’t have. The city has zero prospects. All I’d be moving back for is family.

Cue: Awkward silence.

I’m yet to find an eloquent way to express how I feel about the concept.

Despite my vain attempts at explaining it, the result’s always the same: Read More

choose a side

Do What You Want. Or Don’t. Choose a Side

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When you’re a second generation immigrant, it’s easy to forget that you’re not the immigrant.

We’re not living in a foreign land where the cultures and practices are different to the ones we were raised with.

We just weren’t given the opportunity to embrace them.

And when we try to embrace them (dating, anyone?), we’re shot down. We’re labelled a traitor. Religion’s used as a weapon. We’re pushed back into our box.

Which means we grow accustomed to wishing things were different. Dreaming of less pressure. Willing everyone around us to change.

And it makes us cower. Settle for less than we deserve. Compromise. Read More

where do you belong

Where do you belong?

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I love stories.

Reading them. Watching them. Writing them. Telling them. Getting lost in them. Witnessing them unfold.

Stories fascinate me. They excite me. They also pay the bills.

When I was a child, I’d make up stories about my life.

No, I wouldn’t tell my friends and convince them they were true. That’d make me a liar.

I’d write them in books for only my eyes to see.

In my stories … Read More