Completing twenty years in Britain led to some introspection on borders, nationalities and the ties that bind us to different places, which I poured into my monthly column for top Asian newspapers Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle last month. Please click on the picture to read more. The photos are of me when I first arrived in the UK twenty years ago (on the left) and now (on the right).
it is a haunted world we live in right now. Our deserted public spaces are peopled by wraiths, not just of those who have tragically died in the pandemic, but all of us who have retreated from the world, living a shadow of the lives we once did.
The homes of those who live alone or in unhappy domestic situations are echoing wells of loneliness, and maybe even fear. Even in happy homes, the ghosts of extended family and visiting friends can still be seen flitting around corners.
In their passing on from our lives, though not from this world, they have taken on an otherworldly sheen. Our home in Sherwood forest, where the past incessantly rubs shoulders with the present, is now infested with them.
At least, that was the (im)possibility we were forced to consider when, as the summer progressed and lockdown laid root, our nights suddenly filled with voices…
(Please click on pic for rest of story)
“Author Shreya Sen Handley is known to be a strong emerging voice for women. She penned the award winning book ‘Memoirs of My Body. Her recently released book is ‘Strange’, a collection of twisted short stories, which the legendary Ruskin Bond has described as “masterful”. She is also now the only Indian woman writer to have written an international opera. It is a Welsh National Opera production which will be staged at six of the biggest theatres in the UK….”
(Please click on pic for full article on me and my lockdown reading ~a lot of it with my kids, at the moment)
As the coronavirus spreads across the planet, indiscriminately passing from person to person as viruses do, killing hundreds of thousands without heed to nationality as pandemics must, a strange pattern has emerged. A pattern of pernickety culling unknown to contagion…
(Please click on pic to read rest of Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle column. Cartoon from the net)
I looked around wildly. I could have sworn I had stepped into a newsagent’s and not a butcher’s. The racks of newspapers and magazines, the high shelves of alcohol and cigarettes, and for the children wandering in, a freezer of ice-lollies, were all there. But no Mr Freeze. No Penguin. And surely the farthest thing from the Joker was the man behind the counter.
“Not GoTHam, but Goat-ham,” he grimaced, “goat town is what it means. You won’t find Batman here. Nor adventure. It’s a quiet English village.”
Quite another crime-fighting icon, Miss Marple, might have had something to say about the dark and dangerous things that happened in little English villages, I thought as I stepped out with the children into the mellow autumn sunshine. But it was the caped rather than the cardiganned crusader we hoped to spy in the foxglove-filled nooks and green-wreathed lanes of this Nottinghamshire village.”
(Click on pic to read rest of story!)
Go to England and Wales for the cricket, but stay on for the sights at the World Cup’s 10 venues. The entire cricketing world will be there this summer: the Barmy Army, baggy greens, calypso crew and our boys and girls in blue. But amidst the jubilation and vocal despondency that such jamborees bring, there may be moments when you yearn to be far from the madding crowd