‘Ain’t Nothing But a She Thing’ – Confronting Childhood Sexual Abuse

“….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 

What Stops South Asians From Discussing Mental Health?

Mann Mukti

…”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 – For Book Lovers, From Book Lovers

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. 

Let’s Talk About Grief

Mann Mukti

..”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

‘Meat Came Between Me and My Man’ — U.K. Female Artists Share Food For Thought

Food For Thought

“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!”

Check out my latest Brown Girl Magazine feature here on the talented Anjali Mya Chadha‘s clever production on food and empowerment with Tara Arts.

Dear Dad: A Father’s Day Tribute From Brown Girl Magazine

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

‘To the Left to the Left’- How I Struggled to Keep up With Tinder’s Speed of Finding Love

”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.

100 Years Ago (Some) British Women Won the Right to Vote and Why it Matters Today

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

The UpEffect—Sheeza Shah’s Mission to Incorporate Social Responsibility

Sheeza Shah

“..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 – The Loss of A Bollywood Legend and Childhood Icon

“…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

Beyond The Clouds – Majid Majidi’s Universal Language of Humanity

Beyond The Clouds

“…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”.

A Death in The Gunj – Konkana Sensharma’s Dynamic Directorial Debut

A Death in the Gunj Brown Girl Magazine

….”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..

Truth or Liberation

“.. 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

Vidya Balan’s ‘Begum Jaan’ Fails to Leave Audiences With Powerful Impact

Begum Jaan

“…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.

Examining Bharti Singh’s Prominence Amidst Bollywood’s Fat-Shaming Culture

Bharti Singh

…”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?

Read my latest Brown Girl magazine feature on Bharti Singh calling out Bollywood on its fat-shaming culture here

Finding Fatimah – Love in the Digital Era

“….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

Global Arts Kingston goes Bold for Change for International Women’s Day

GAK IWD 2017

“…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

19th London Asian Film Festival Opening Gala – Memories Beyond Borders

“…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 – Parenting NOT Babysitting!

Jason Kavan in Dadism

…”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

Brown Girl Anjali Bhimani Brings a Desi Superhero to Life in Virtual Game ‘Overwatch’

“…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.

Kathak’s Rising Star – Shyam Dattani

“…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 – The Father’s Voice

“…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.

Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu thi

http://www.browngirlmagazine.com/2016/12/amir-khan-familiar-trope-of-monster-mother-laws/

“In an ideal world, the Balaji saas–bahu shows would not be a true reflection of this woman-hating-woman vicious cycle. Independence for women in any form should be celebrated, not hindered.”

My Brown Girl magazine feature looks at the infamous brides vs in-laws saga. Read the full article here

 

An Open Letter to my Married Friends

..”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

The Fast and the Furious – Karva Chauth

…”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!)…”

Does Karva Chauth hold significance today to the 21st century woman? Read my latest feature here in The Asian Today

Originally published here

The Silent Cry

….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.

Draupadi Disrobed

“Is forcing more constraints on what a woman may wear or not wear making her daily life any easier??”

Read my new feature Draupadi Disrobed for The Asian Today here.

Originally published here.

The Half Sikh Woman

..” What is that I do or don’t do daily that would make me any less Gujarati or Sikh? Is my namesake my only identity and true definition of who I am or what my cultural beliefs are?..”

Read The Half Sikh Woman published in here The Asian Today

Originally published here

Brexit for the Brown Girl – BBC Radio London

In conversation with BBC Radio London’s Shyama Perera, discussing Brexit’s impact on South Asians.

Listen to the full interview here 

 

Brexit for the Brown Girl – Sh** Just Got Real!

“….Racism never died, it needed the fuel to leverage its existence and was accelerated by the exploitation of this political tug of war within the nation.…”

Just when you thought you had read enough on Brexit, think again. Check out my Brown Girl Magazine Feature here: Brexit for the Brown Girl – Sh** Just Got Real!

Originally published here

 

Zubaan Film Review – London Asian Film Festival

If you missed the festival screening of Mozez Singh’s Zubaan at the London Asian Film festival read my review below on LAFF’s website of the film that won LAFF 2016’s Award for Best Production.

http://www.tonguesonfire.com/2016/06/zubaan-film-review/

My Big Fat Indian Non Wedding

”..Whilst weddings are assumed to be the most appropriate place to ask inappropriate questions, trust me when I say that sarcasm is a tried and tested method, which will fail miserably.”

Read my do’s and don’ts for the Indian Wedding Season in The Asian Today here

Also featured in USA’s Brown Girl Magazine 

Originally published here

The Woman that is You

..”As spectators, we applaud the likes of Hilary Clinton or Malala as role models, but how much are we encouraging or even acknowledging the inspiring women within our own homes?..”

What does International Women’s Day mean to you. Read my feature in The Asian Today here

Originally published here

International Women’s day with BBC Radio London’s Sunny & Shay

Celebrating International Women’s Day with BBC Radio London’s Sunny and Shay, with Shweta Aggarwal and Daman Kaur Mullhi.. Listen to the full show here.

L is for me..

…”I love you. Everyone wants to hear those three words don’t they? But why is it so easy to forget the I in I love you?…”

Read the full article in the Asian Today on what should really matter this Valentine’s Day here

Originally published here

The Marriage Myth Journey

“In this society, marriage is a task, that HAS to be completed”, these were the harsh words of Dr Khurrana, a New Delhi based marriage counselor, in response to my question – how is marriage perceived in India today? In February 2012, through my journey to explore and engage in current methods that women of my generation in India are undertaking to find “the one”, I was intrigued by how working thirty-something’s in India today were influenced by everyday relationships and if attitudes to marriage were altering. .
Read all about the journey in Asiana, Asian Woman Magazine and Chak De India and the official blogspot here

Let me eat my cake!

“…Birthdays, for me personally, have a weird way of elevating different emotions. Where there is the excitement and buzz of celebration and merriment, the silent reminder of the not-so-slow ageing process can just as equally dampen that joy...”

Read the full article on the perils of hitting 30+ in the award winning The Asian Today – Let me eat my cake

Originally published here

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

“..Born into a culture that prides itself on unity and togetherness, what has created this thread of apprehension and shame that pulls her away from reaching for that hand to seek comfort in.”

Read the full blog here in USA’s Brown Girl Magazine here

Originally published here

 

Sejal In Conversation with Channel 4 First Date’s Mitz Patel for Asiana.TV

In an Asiana.TV exclusive, Sejal Sehmi in association with Screen 11 production speaks to Channel 4 First Date’s most talked about singleton, Mitz Patel. In his first video interview since the show, we find out from the singleton and his family, who is the real Mitz Patel? 

Published for Asiana Magazine see more here 

The Asian Silence

“..At a time, where the UK has seen a huge growth in charities and refuges specifically for women of ethnic minorities, the fear of raising a voice suppresses even those who are aware of their options because their cultural base has already set the foundation of inequality..”

Article now published in The Asian Today

Originally published here

BBC Asian Network Noreen Khan’s Fabulous Women

Extremely privileged to have been part of Noreen Khan‘s Fabulous Women panel on BBC Asian Network on Wednesday 1 April with British Thai Kickboxing champion Ruqsana Begum and financial journalist Kalpana Fitzpatrick Listen to the interview here  

 

The Age of Her

.”..as Asian women, at which point does our age become the barrier against individualism?..” 

Tackling the age stereotypes, read the latest feature, The Age of Her, in The Asian Today.

Originally published here

 

 

Hey Bhagwan! It’s Mother’s Day!

“….Where the male characters of Mahabharat may be remembered for fighting battles, it is the women who often took control and decisions to drive events within their favour…”  What role do women in mythology play in our lives?

Article now featured in The Asian Today..

Originally published here.

Shh!! Keep it clean, we’re desis..!

“.Sexual innuendos and suggestive lyrics in many of today’s Indian film songs may be a growing trend, however there is still an air of discomfort in British Asian families around the dreaded “S” word, as the struggle to downstream morals and maintain an open parent-child relationship continues even today…” Are British Asians talking about relationships openly? Read the full article in Asiana here

Originally published here

The Word

 “…Many say that the pen is mightier than the sword, I believe that the pen is almost wiser than the tongue…” Read my latest blog, The Word, here

 

 

London Desi Girl in the City

“…this endless energy of celebration draws you into its web of how wonderful life is…”

Read about the London Desi Girl in NYC here

Nirbhaya – The Fearless One

“Through the tapestry of these events, we experience the harsh truth of our civilization’s own contribution towards the psyche of such a mentality”

Read my review on Yael Farber’s phenomenal theatrical production, Nirbhaya the play – here

Also featured in USA’s Brown Girl Magazine here

Women leading the way

Walking shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts, women’s success stories in the business, sports, media and social world, are being recognized, celebrated and rewarded; paving a path for the next generation.  Click here to see some highlights of a few events over the past year that I was fortunate to be a part of.

The Single Bride

“…as we moved from floor to floor, it was becoming apparent how the shift from the traditional Indian wedding “requirements” has evolved into a demand for a specular event across all entities…”

Sejal Sehmi discovers the delights of the Asiana Bridal Show…even though she’s not a bride. Read all about her experiences in her latest Asiana article – The Single Bride 

Raise your glasses…

“..Many Indian weddings in the UK today no longer consist of just a three hour ceremony, where the guests just sit in a large school hall, eat and then leave. Venues are more lavish, and expectations from guests are changing…”

Sejal Sehmi meets the UK’s first female Indian wedding toastmaster, Sonal Shah, in a special feature in Asiana.TV