As a British Indian I am one of many women whose marriageable sell-by-date is often defined by society. A passionate Kathak dancer (north Indian classical form) and traveller, I have worked in the banking technology sector for over ten years until I was made redundant. In wanting to understand one of many South Asian stigmas, I flew to India last year with a fellow filmmaker friend, Shakir Kadri, and became the subject of a documentary, Desperately Seeking Husband, that attempts to understand the importance of marriage today. My experiences in India encouraged me to create a platform for discussion and I have written articles for Asiana.TV, Asian Woman Magazine, The Asian Today, Chak De India as well keeping my own personal blogs and have been guest speaker for the BBC Asian Network on several occasions discussing social issues impacting British Indians today.
In June 2013. in association with Global Arts Kingston, a multi-cultural community arts organization in Kingston-upon-Thames, my cousin Kishan Shah and I collaborated to create a production called The Evolution of the British Indian Woman as part of the Kingston Connections festival held in Kingston’s Rose Theatre. Through the eyes of one Kingston family, the presentation explored the essence of a British Indian woman through the experiences of three branches of one family tree. A grandmother, who moved to the UK 30 years ago with aspirations of a new future; her daughter, a business woman, wife and mother; and me, the granddaughter, who wants to explore the thread that interweaves within each generation. The production was presented in the form of a series of short films followed by a talk that I hosted, giving the audience an opportunity to interact and share similar life stories. My family members and I went on to share the experience on the BBC’s Desi Download and in Asiana.TV’s online magazine. After writing for various South Asian publications I am now UK Editor for US based Brown Girl Magazine.