A vintage gem that speaks a thousand words and needs no filter.. Three generations in one frame, each silently narrating their paths.. The matriarch – my Nani – undeterred by the struggles life has thrown her, and leading her tribe forward with integrity and sincerity.. Her daughter – my mother – who looks on in awe and pride at this woman who has single-handedly raised the next generation, and still clutches my shoulder, oozing maternal love. And little ole me – clinging on to my mum’s hand, knowing I’m in the presence of motherhood and feeling safe and protected. I can’t think of anything more powerful than this…. Selfless, humble and pure love… 💕💕💕💕💕
“…London, as hard as I fell at your feet, you uprooted me back to become more resilient — to which, especially in these uncertain times, I am forever thankful….”
In conversation with best-selling author Sweta Vikram and creative professor and author Sayatani Dasgupta – as part of South Asian Heritage month we discuss the wonderful world of writing and why our voices matter..!
“….It’s not us who should be silenced or forced into guilt, it is those who hold resentment and fear of what our collective voices can evolve into that need you. Because I certainly don’t and I no longer wish to carry you alongside with me.”
What a way to start 2020 than to be featured exclusively on a podcast with the wonderful MK on the Mic. Listed on The Great British Podcasts’ Most Popular Podcasts of 2019, we discuss all things taboo – from sex, cultural appropriation to inter-racial relationships. Available on Spotify and iTunes. Click on the links below to tune in!
“…Published 20 years ago, Meera Syal’s novel was light years ahead of its time. Her words were gospel to my ears as the narrative followed the trials and tribulations of three British Asian young females — all of whom were walking different paths of their lives — yet coming together in sister solidarity. Thus began my understanding of what we often quote as the South Asian diaspora..”
My latest Brown Girl Magazine on celebrating Meera Syal’s iconic novel “Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee” with South Asian Sisters Speak
“… I can understand why some people cling on – to their icons and to their past. I’m just grateful that I no longer do..”
My opinion piece for the Independent on two of music’s biggest icons.
On Saturday 30 March 2019, the U.K. team of Brown Girl Magazine had the privilege of exhibiting at U.K.’s first Asian Woman Festival at the New Bingley Hall, Birmingham. Not only did we get to display some of our content and stories, but our latest Ladki Power merchandise. Check out the pictures here.
On Friday 8th March, Global Arts Kingston – which aims to create, develop and deliver inter-generation and multicultural events within the local communities of Kingston-Upon-Thames – celebrated International Women’s Day by acknowledging women heroes. Through music, poetry, and special guests speakers Rita Kakati Shah, founder of Uma, and ITV chef Parveen Ashraf, it was a thought-provoking and emotional evening, amplified by inspirational women.
“….“We do not feel the fashion world expects something #Indian-based, as times have changed and people are more open-minded… The Wolfe London want to create more awareness within the South Asian community as that market is very niche and still very new..”
Check out my latest Brown Girl magazine feature on how The Wolfe London – Jenika and Shanil Gudka – have taking their brand to London Fashion Week 2019
“Liam Neeson’s admission is neither a new awakening nor is it a celebration of how brave and courageous he is. This a real and dangerous reminder of what people of colour’s truth is.”
Read my latest Brown Girl Magazine feature on how Liam Neeson has confirmed our everyday reality.
“…Goddess Durga Resides in our Hearts, Not on your Swimsuit!…
Where do we draw the line with cross-cultural fashion? Read my latest Brown Girl Magazine feature here
“….Actor, feminist, humanitarian — just a few words that describe the dynamite who is Jameela Jamil. It was February 2009, when this quirky, tall and slightly nervous looking British South Asian presenter exploded on to U.K.’s Channel 4. The cynic in me, of course, assumed this was just a strategy to tick the “brown skin on-screen” box. How wrong was I?!…”
Brown Girl Magazine U.K. exhibited “Disrupt” at TedxUCLWomen – a collection of stories at the that represent how, through our platform, across the world, South Asian women are “disrupting” the status quo and shaking up the dialogue in our communities. By championing women of colour who disrupt the narrative of cultural or societal formed norms – through arts, politics, or simply humanitarian channels, these stories are a reflection of how each of these women are shifting paradigms to create their own paths that define their individuality. Check out the photos from the event below.
Brown Girl Magazine was created by and for South Asian women globally who believe in the power of storytelling as a vehicle for community building and empowerment. BGM U.K. will display a collection of stories at the TedXUCLWomen exhibition that represent how, through our platform, across the world, South Asian women are “disrupting” the status quo and shaking up the dialogue in our communities. By championing women of colour who disrupt the narrative of cultural or societal formed norms – through arts, politics, or simply humanitarian channels, these stories are a reflection of how each of these women are shifting paradigms to create their own paths that define their individuality.
“….The lack of understanding regarding childhood sexual abuse and traditional views of a patriarchal honour based community, unfortunately, favours the concept of remaining silent and demonising any calls for justice..”
Read all about ANBU – Abuse Never Becomes Us – a charity supporting survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA) in the Tamil community and their upcoming event on 17 November in my latest Brown Girl Magazine feature here
…”In the journey of creating an identity on foreign soil, South Asian family and friends alike stick together in times of both successes and struggles. So, should we feel guilty when we turn to a medical professional in moments of despair, if every door around us appears shut?…”
Read my full article on what stops South Asians from discussing mental health in my latest Brown Girl Magazine feature here.
Desi Reads is a reader-focused platform, founded by Anjali Mya Chadha and Sejal Sehmi, to help book lovers find authors and writer’s linked to South Asia. Set up by four avid readers who were forever struggling to find books linked to South Asia, their own experiences and protagonists whom they identify with. We’ll help you discover up-and-coming literary talent and undiscovered gems, all connected to the Indian subcontinent – from exciting books and authors to the hottest blogs. Visit www.thedesireads.com today and check out our exclusive interview with our Featured Writer, Vaseem Khan.
..”So let’s talk! Let’s talk about grief, about loss, about that gap we are feeling. Let’s stop conforming to societal ideals of behavioural patterns, stop the judgement of who is hurting more than who by decibels of cries. Cast aside criticisms of not adhering to customs for the sake of one’s sanity, and an individual’s right to express and not suppress..”
Read my latest feature with Mann Mukti, on breaking stereotypes of dealing with grief.
Originally published here
“It’s often been said that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Being a woman of South Asian descent, however, I firmly believe that there is no bigger love for a desi woman than that of her mother’s soul-infused culinary delights…#FoodForThought reflected precisely that!”
Not enough credit is given to those fathers that raise a daughter to be a feminist and remind me that I am more than just an element of my cultural background – I am me. So Pops, I want to thank you today for being more than just a father, but for being a friend to me and my sisters. You have never let me forget that honesty and sincerity come hand in hand with hard work if I really want to reach for success. Thank you for always supporting me in my life choices and defending me against the stereotypes of following an expected linear path just to uphold societal acceptance. My passion for travelling was inherited from your curiosity of the beauty of this planet and it’s because of the sacrifices you and mum made that I was privileged to explore the world from such a young age. Thank you for always listening and never judging, something I can only strive to continually do. Most importantly, thank you for trusting me as YOUR friend, for picking up the phone and turning to me when you also needed a friendly ear. If there is one thing I would ask you to do, is love yourself as much as me and the girls love you. Don’t underestimate the importance you hold in our lives. You held my hand, now let me hold yours. Love you always and more… Seju xx
Read the full Brown Girl Magazine Writers’ Father’s Day Tribute here
”On Tinder, when someone no longer wants to talk to you or lose interest, they unmatch you as swiftly as they had chosen you – just like that! We have become accustomed to everything being done for us digitally. And if we don’t like it we can swipe it to the left to the trash can of other human skills that actually build the foundation of a relationship..”
Read all about my Tinder Tales in my latest Brown Girl Magazine feature here.
After four years of contributing to Brown Girl magazine, last year I undertook the role of UK editor. Since then, the team has slowly but steadily grown. On IWD 2018, I’m extremely proud of the breadth of content these ladies have produced in the last few months. Today, I am proud to share their thoughts on what 100 years of The Right To Vote means to them here for Brown Girl Magazine
Happy IWD to my fab team #IWD2018 #Vote100
“..Sheeza Shah is the CEO of UpEffect, a unique crowdfunding platform dedicated to social enterprises who aim to give back to those less fortunate. Its’ brand represents companies who go beyond just making profits — they care about the lives they make an impact on and ensure companies incorporate social responsibility…. “
Read Sheeza Shah’s story to success exclusively for Brown Girl Magazine here.
“…Sridevi inspired us to dance like no one is watching, laugh so hard that it becomes infectious, and love with passion and soul….”
Read my tribute to the late Sridevi here for Brown Girl Magazine
“…Starring Ishaan Khattar and Malavika Mohanan, “Beyond the Clouds” takes the audience through the slums of Mumbai, into a journey of social injustice and human empathy…”
Read my latest Brown Girl magazine feature here on the world premiere of Majid Majidi’s “Beyond The Clouds”.
….”Watching a man become a victim of patriarchy is captured beautifully behind the lens of a female perspective, as it boldly questions why tenderness in a man is challenged by both men and women..”
Read my latest Brown Girl Magzine feature here on Konkana Sensharma’s debut film, A Death in the Gunj, and an exclusive interview with BFI guest curator Meenakshi Shedde..
“.. Aspiring to be a bride is our ultimate achievement, where we swiftly move from our father’s home into our husband’s home, and the namesake follows the same path – neither name nor home is primarily ours. We learn to cook for the masses, because individual portions are not accounted for when inheriting family recipes. When would an occasion ever arise for you to cater for one, unless it’s your pati parmeshwar? …”
Can a woman’s independence truly be embraced? Read the full article here
“…Amongst Vidya Balan’s tyrant of man hating abuse, as a victim of consistent misogyny, a glimmer of remorse of endorsing women as sex on legs for a hefty price would have ensured at least some, be it little, empathy…”
Read my latest Begum Jaan review exclusively for here Brown Girl Magazine.
…”Bharti Singh herself has had made it no secret that despite her initial insecurity about her looks, she used this to her advantage…How do we truly embrace ourselves for who we are if women themselves are self-accepting of their weight being used as humour to entertain the masses?
“….Starring Danny Ashok and Asmara Gabrielle, these singletons’ quest to find love in the digital era of Internet dating takes the audience through a rollercoaster of emotions, often humorous yet enlightening, reminding us that true love is not always exempt from societal created boundaries….”
Read my review on Finding Fatimah for the Asian Today here
“…By recognising and celebrating the inspirational women of Kingston-Upon-Thames whose contribution to social, community and economic areas of the borough, Global Arts Kingston echoed its own voice to #BeBoldForChange!…”
Read all about Global Arts Kingston International Women’s Day event in The Asian Today
“…Written and directed by John Upchurch, Mango Dreams follows the journey of Indian resident Dr Amit Singh, a post partition child witness, to return to a place he once called home…”
Read my review on the 19th London Asian Film Festival’s Opening Gala for The Asian Today
…”Dadism cleverly narrates the daunting aspect of the pregnancy process through the eyes of a first time father, as he slowly watches his identify change from name to noun and sometimes sheer invisibility, a fear that I’m sure must resonate amongst many new fathers..”
Read my review of Anjali Mya Chadha’s one man show, Dadism, for The Asian Today
“…I don’t think of heroes just as Superman and Wonder Woman, or even Symmetra and the Overwatch team I think more often they are ordinary people doing extraordinary things….”
Read my exclusive Brown Girl Magazine interview with Anjali Bhamani, the voice of Symmetra in the virtual game Overwatch.
“…Dance for me is the purest expression of one’s character. A dancer’s true nature really shows on stage, and that is the beauty of art, especially Kathak..”
Read my full interview with Kathak’s rising star, Shyam Dattani, who is part of BBC Four’s Young Dancers 2017 competition in the South Asian category final, exclusively for the Asian Today here.
“…Dadism is a solo comedy show about a 40-something man becoming a dad for the first time. It’s a comical look at parenting and double standards. The show explores the experience of the pregnancy through a man’s eyes, in particular, what happens to the non-carrying parent?..”
Read my interview with actor, writer and producer Anjali Mya Chadha on her new play Dadism in The Asian Today here.
..”Ladies, we’ve fought so hard for impartiality, to want to be recognized as equals against our male peers. So why are our achievements outside of a marriage still not equally as celebrated?..”
Read my Open Letter to my Married Friends who forgot what single life is like for Brown Girl Magazine.
Originally published here
…”At the age of 15, I was told by undertaking the Jaya Parvati fast, God would bless me with my rich Prince Charming (P.S Dear God, I think mine got lost somewhere on the way!)…”
Originally published here
….I cannot fathom what drove a young boy, with a bright future, to such despair that he felt that ending his own life was the only escape route from being bullied. …
Do we talk about bullying enough? Read my new feature here in The Asian Today featuring the BBC Radio London discussion on this topic.
In conversation with BBC Radio London’s Shyama Perera, discussing Brexit’s impact on South Asians.
Listen to the full interview here