What happened twenty or thirty years ago, none of us can change. What we can do is resolve to help our own children make better decisions.Continue reading “Next gen”
Quite honestly, for all my confident talk suggesting I embrace all that made me, I wish I had been able to access support years ago. In adult life, I have taken refuge in my faith to overcome the inner torment, substituting for absent interventions.Continue reading “Collision course”
Twenty years ago, in our forested Karadeniz valley, I could easily say, “Baklavayı severim” (I love Baklava). Or, as I accidentally said to my sister-in-law, “Baklava. Seni seviyorum” (Baklava? I love you!).Continue reading “Too much baklava”
Success or failure is relative. It all depends on your vantage point, and what your measure of success is. For most of my childhood, I lived in a large five-bedroom house in one of the most affluent suburbs of our city. Our house had two large living rooms, a kitchen large enough to comfortably seat all six of us for dinner, a conservatory and gardens front, side and rear.Continue reading “Success vs failure”
Ooh, racism for breakfast. Thanks talk radio. That will give the nation something to chew over for a week or two. Priorities, priorities.
Build bridges. Don’t put up walls. So much conflict could be avoided if we only learnt to communicate with one another.Continue reading “Build bridges”
It would be true to say that for most of my life I have been paralysed by low self-esteem. In particular periods, that may even have manifested as acute self-loathing. I hope those dark days are behind me. But a lack of confidence in myself: no, this remains all too prevalent.Continue reading “To break free”
Yesterday afternoon, I tried to have a conversation with our daughter about chasing likes and followings.Continue reading “Chasing likes”
I believe — in my own limited understanding — that I fell foul of the defenders of a young woman’s honour thrice in my youth.Continue reading “For love and honour”
I don’t know why I suddenly feel so blue. I don’t know why this melancholy descends. I don’t know why I can’t seem to shake it. It hits me unexpectedly, knocking me back without warning. I have no reason to feel blue, but I do. Where did this come from this time?
Continue reading “Beware of envy”
Beware of envy, because it devours good deeds just like a fire consumes wood.
Put away your youthful zealotries. By the time you have reached your forties, you will have abandoned everything you once thought to be true. That won’t help those whose lives you ruined or disrupted though.Continue reading “Youthful zealotry”
We break our fast this evening with friends we first met twenty-one years ago in West Ealing. Now I feel very old, for the toddler we encountered back then is now a confident twenty-three year-old medical student, her brother following suit. Their youngest is a day older than ours, turning teenager this summer.Continue reading “Breaking bread”
My paternal grandfather kept on his dining room windowsill a bronze cast. If my memory serves, it depicted Shiva as the Nataraja, Lord of the Dance. It always fascinated me, for it was the first thing a visitor would see when visiting their home, passing it to reach their front door.Continue reading “Global families”
I will take my transnational community over narrow nationalism any time. I will take this brotherhood of man over petty hatreds based on the quantity of melanin in a person’s epidermis. I choose to break bread with the humble of all the world.
The pandemic and lockdown measures have messed with our mental health. This is the next societal crisis, compounded by the squeeze on family finances.Continue reading “Messed up”
It’s very easy to say to yourself, “Don’t grieve over the past.” Much harder to do. Daily, I am plagued by whispers petitioning me to look back to those moments when I should have been setting foundations for the present.Continue reading “Foundations”
I keep seeing articles about the supposed superpowers of introverts in the workplace. One such power: they’re resilient because they’re used to being ignored.Continue reading “Introvert at work”
Just as I thought I was finding contentment weeks ago, a whisperer whispered into my heart, reminding me of days gone by.Continue reading “Whispers”
Just a month ago, I penned these sentiments:Continue reading “One month”
Everybody has dark periods of despair that can lead them close to the edge. Sometimes it can be difficult to rationalise or justify, especially to those around you.Continue reading “In despair”
Now property developers want to do to our little market town what they have done to Ealing. Just as my old neighbourhood there has lost all of its charm and character, now the town masterplan hopes to plant high-rise apartment blocks right in the centre of our quaint town. I don’t suppose there is much we little folk can do to oppose it. Money talks. We will just have to get used to this brave new world. Such is the cost of progress.
Trust nobody who tells you it is necessary to send your children to private school, in order that they be successful in life. Such schools may be good for some people, but they are not a panacea. Indeed, for some people, they may do more damage than good.Continue reading “The best education”
Whatever you’re going through, there’s a reason for it. In the moment it can be difficult to deal with the hurt and anguish. Rest assured, in the fullness of time, you will come to understand and appreciate all that has happened. Patience.
I admit it: I’m an anti-social git, personality type, ASG.Continue reading “Anti-social git”
It is amazing that the tiniest decision or action can change the entire direction of your life. I still identify many of the pebbles that sent ripples — shockwaves — increasing in breadth, across my soul, changing my life completely.Continue reading “Ripples”
Where could ambition have carried me? What could I have achieved, had I had vision, or encouragement, or guidance? I have recently encountered quite a few people I once knew in the distant past with humble beginnings who have achieved so much in their lives. In all honesty, I’m in awe of each of them.
If you’re a pacifist, feel free to bash me for holding that fighting is sometimes an unfortunate necessity in order to repel greater harm. To be anti-war is a good moral stance, in my book. I’ll grant you free rein to argue your case in full.Continue reading “My position”
Why do we have to accept daft platitudes like, You’re the least white white man I know? It’s fine to be whatever you are, as long as you’re not a prick.Continue reading “Patronising guff”
These days, I feel like I have been forced to reevaluate everything I once thought to be true. I’ve been forced to confront a lot of the sneering class prejudices I was exposed to when I was young. I’ve realised a lot of them were way off the mark.Continue reading “Completely wrong”
It’s truly crazy to see how much London has changed since I first set foot there as a student twenty-six years ago. I must confess that I loved living in Central London and rarely ventured beyond its boundaries for the first two years of my studies.Continue reading “Everything changes”
It is always painful to recall that I was rejected because I was a loser. For some years, I put it down to prejudice, but now I know it was simply because I was the archetypal geek, forever derided.Continue reading “Loser”
It can be hard to maintain positivity sometimes. I try to talk myself into it, to make it so, but I think perhaps my apparition of positivity is only ever a manic splurge. I edge myself slowly out of my shell, but soon enough I will withdraw once more.Continue reading “Disengaged”
In my youth, I was embarrassed by my family’s wealth and social status. I told nobody where I lived, not even close friends. When driven to school, I would ask to be dropped off out of sight. I later took to walking long distances home.Continue reading “The cost of living”
I have no desire or ambition to go chasing after what others have. I am content with my Lord’s decree.Continue reading “Bling”
So Manor Road parade in West Ealing is no more. I suppose it was inevitable, ever since they replaced the old cozy Waitrose with that silver box and block of flats. The area lost all character then. It is painful returning to our old neighbourhood today. But that is the cost of progress. Nothing stays the same. So we are gone too.
Should I be annoyed when others take credit for my work? Should I be irritated that others gain promotions on the basis of my efforts? Should I be upset that others undermine my work and then bring it back as if it is something new?
Perhaps I should, but I’m not really. I’m bored of these machinations. I don’t have their ambitions. Let whoever wills take credit for whatever they please.
One day we will be dead and buried, and completely forgotten. In another generation, nobody will remember our headstone, let alone anything we did. We will just be dust then, awaiting our accounting.
For a moment, it all seemed to make sense. Now I wonder, returning from a bizarre time-travelling adventure: what on earth was I thinking? Have I truly lost my mind?
The answer to that is yes, of course, because my social anxiety has shot through the roof. Last year messed with my psychology so completely. Half the time I feel like I have lost my marbles, forgetting that there is a world out there.
Somehow, I have lost two decades. I am altogether confused.
I have always resisted the notion that there is such a thing as British culture. I have always argued that nations, communities, families subsume multiple cultures.Continue reading “Culture club”
Whatever happened to socially conscious hip-hop? The lyrics blasting from the TV on our barber’s wall are so off.Continue reading “Barber shop hip-hop”