I’ve been thinking recently about superstitions. How even in our post-enlightenment, educated world, with reams of information and expertise at our fingertips, superstitions still have a strong hold. I’m a logical woman and yet sometimes superstitions creep up on me like a beacon from a past life.  Bad luck superstitions Superstitions, of course, are beliefs […]

The baby didn’t sleep last night. His need for me is wearing. I stand in the hallway, exhausted, listening to him whimper in his cot after I place him there. I cup my hands in prayer. The shape they make is at first alien, a relic from childhood rituals when our family attended the mosque […]

I know it’s not always the best idea to be political on blogs. Why alienate your readership? Even so, I’m going to break that rule. That’s because today, I found politics not to be divisive, but to be hopeful. Today, I went canvassing. Our older two children stayed with my husband. It was me and […]

We went to the beach at East Wittering, a few hours drive away. The sea air was bracing, the sand between my toes cool. Beach huts in primary colours and bold patterns stood against the grey sky. The baby fussed, and I was secretly pleased to leave our frisbee-playing big kids in their father’s care […]

Happy new year, readers. I hope the coming year finds you healthy and hopeful, that you uncover pockets of laughter, reach into your potential and fill the spaces of emptiness that sometimes haunt us all. I’m late with my well wishes, I know. I have an excuse though. Littlest Stelter was born a month ago, […]

If you promise not to tell a soul and agree to share a red-faced moment of your own in the comments, I’ll let you in on one of my childhood humiliations. I must have been about fourteen, and had been asked to recite a prayer at mosque. That day, all the ceremonies were being performed […]

Some of the oldest stories that exist centre around curiosity, and what happens when our thirst for knowledge is indulged. Take the story of Eve taking fruit from the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden. Or Pandora unable to resist opening her box and allowing the world’s evils to escape. Or fairytales such […]

I try to keep politics off this blog. That’s the common advice, isn’t it? Not to alienate potential readers by being overtly political. It’s like bringing politics up at dinner parties or with family. There’s something unsavoury about it. Rarely does consensus come out of political conversations unless you are talking to like-minded people. But […]

I’ve not posted here for a while. I had lost my way. Sometimes the only thing to do is to retreat into your shell, hide away, let the storms of fear and despair pass. Maybe I’m still lost, but it helps to turn up to a blank page, to coax the swirl of words inside […]

Yesterday was Mother’s Day for many people. While in the UK it is celebrated in March, such is the reach of Facebook, that I twitched at the thought my mum might think I had forgotten to make a fuss of her. I’m ambivalent about commercial days like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day. Even […]

I’m Muslim, did you know? You might have guessed, from how I look I suppose. I once was interviewed by a woman, who after I got the job, confided in me that she could almost always tell someone’s religion after speaking to them for five minutes. I wonder if she could tell also that I’d […]

One of the ways we perceive those around us is by categorisation. Like the Sorting Hat in Harry Potter. We label people to understand them. She is ambitious: he is laid back. He is adventurous; she is scared of her own shadow. She is a ski bunny; he is a couch potato. She is black; […]

It’s been over two years now since I clambered up to the rooftops, cupped my hands together and admitted what I had known all along: I wanted to write, not just for me, but for readers. I thought that learning the craft, finishing and submitting stories might lead to modest sales. In fact, writing stories […]

I am very excited to announce that I’ll soon be posting a three part short story on this blog, which has been written in collaboration with fourteen talented writers. The project was inspired by this original short story in The New York Times in October, to which renowned authors – Zadie Smith, Rebecca Curtis, Mohsin […]

It’s a horrible habit, isn’t it? Waking up and before you’ve even stretched to reach for your phone on the nightstand. I do it daily, scanning the news headlines and social media before my eyes have even focussed. It’s the sort of action which removes you from your physical environment and throws you into the […]

The clock has just struck noon and I can hear the spin cycle of the washing machine downstairs. Its rhythm and the summer heat are lulling me into a state of relaxation. It’s humid here in my parents’ living room. Their house pulses with heat even when the radiators are off: a blessing in winter, […]

My head has been a whirr this week, as my final day at City Hall came and went, amidst leaving cards and speeches and the sense that a significant phase of my life has come to an end. I was a school girl when I first became interested in politics. I’d gone along to a […]

Last week, someone I love confided how in me about how low she was feeling.  We spent nearly an hour talking about her feelings, what she felt had gone wrong and how she could get to where she wants to be.  I walked away from the conversation hurting for her but when I replayed the […]