Debutant author Avni Doshi on her Booker Prize shortlisted novel

by LAUREN CODLING BOOKER PRIZE nominated author Avni Doshi has described the reaction to her debut novel as “something she had never dreamed of” – although she admitted the “hard” struggle of dealing with criticism. Doshi’s Burnt Sugar is a fictional account of the relationship between a mother and daughter in west India. The 37-year-old’s […]

Hold Still exhibition focuses on UK lockdown portraits

by LAUREN CODLING A PHOTOGRAPHER featured in a community project aiming to create a “unique collective portrait of the UK during lockdown” has spoken of her desire to show “some light in the darkness of the coronavirus crisis”. The Hold Still project, launched by the National Portrait Gallery, has received more than 31,000 applications from […]

Sharing stories about breast cancer and surrogacy will help Asians, says survivor

by LAUREN CODLING A BREAST cancer survivor who had a daughter through surrogacy has spoken out about ending the stigma of the disease among Asians, as she urged more involvement from the community. Kreena Dhiman, 40, was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 33. Although now in remission, she became infertile due to the […]

How Roksanda boss Jamie Gill rose to the top of British fashion

by LAUREN CODLING JAMIE GILL is a name that should be on every fashion lover’s lips. Following a career that spanned architecture, fi­nance and fashion, the 32-year-old was recently ap­pointed to the British Fashion Council (BFC) as a non-executive director. His star looks set to rise as it was only two years ago that Gill […]

Girls tackle child marriage on the football pitch in India

When India began lifting its coronavirus lockdown, Meera, a child bride from northwestern India, was focused on just one thing: when she could start playing football again. In Rajasthan, one of the Indian regions where early marriage persists despite being outlawed more than a decade ago, a girls’ soccer initiative is tackling gender inequality, and […]

Jay Shetty: ‘I want to help people find calm in the chaos’

by LAUREN CODLING FORMER monk and social media sensation Jay Shetty has admitted he “never imagined” his level of success, as he prepared for the release last week of his debut book. Shetty has become known as one of the most influential people on social media, as well as a storyteller on mindfulness and wellbeing. […]

‘Going further in the British Army is my career goal’

by LAUREN CODLING AS A teenager, Air Trooper Munib Sheikh dreamed of becoming a professional footballer. Growing up in Pakistan, Sheikh idolised Portugal footballer Cristiano Ronaldo for his work ethic and rise to the top of his field. The self-proclaimed “football crazy” teen was inspired to pursue his own dream of sports stardom. When Sheikh […]

Themes of ‘My Beautiful Laundrette’ still relevant, says Kureishi

by LAUREN CODLING AUTHOR Hanif Kureishi has claimed his critically acclaimed My Beautiful Laundrette is still “relevant to our day and age”, more than three decades after it hit cinema screens. Kureishi made the comments following the online release of Leicester Curve Theatre’s stage adaptation of his Oscar-nominated screenplay last month. The narrative follows a […]

Tuk-tuk warriors: the abuse victims who rode to women’s rescue in lockdown India

As the coronavirus kept virtually everyone at home, Talat Jahan was busily crisscrossing the slums in her black-and-yellow rickshaw – on a lockdown mission to help women suffering abuse and hunger in her central Indian city. Jahan, 29, a domestic abuse survivor, and about a dozen other women who recently trained to become Bhopal’s first […]

Pakistan’s online agony aunt tearing down taboos

“Women in Pakistan are really, really strong. We have a voice. We just don’t have enough spaces to use that voice,” says Kanwal Ahmed, an agony aunt to some 260,000, determined to change the situation. Her female-only online hub sees traditionally taboo topics such as sex, divorce, and domestic violence discussed freely in a conservative […]

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