My blog is a year old today. Absolutely a pup, for sure, but I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for reading me.
From the past 12 months, these are the three most-read posts:
A Compassionate Heart
About my darling cousin Rubaiya and her inspiring decision to save street animals. Since I wrote the post last October, I have been continually moved by just how much work (and pressure) she is under on behalf of her organisation, Obhoyaronno, to raise funds, deal with the government over policy issues, manage a growing operation, hire and make arrangements to train vets, and much more. She provides a safe haven for animals who have experienced far too much cruelty. She fights the good fight against overwhelming and exhausting odds. Her compassion truly is phenomenal.
Kindred Spirits: Tassaduq Ahmed and I
Okay, you really like my family. This post was about my dear uncle, Tassaduq Ahmed. A former Communist who had to flee the country to avoid persecution, he ended up becoming a community leader for the disenfranchised in London’s East End, becoming the first Bangladeshi awarded with an MBE from the Queen (an irony that didn’t escape him). My account of our time together first appeared in a collection of essays published in 2000. His memory and influence continue to shape the direction of my life to this day.
Life in a Lens
Are we photographing our lives or are we living for photographs? I ranted about this personal pet peeve and you rather agreed, sharing this post all over. Thank you.
I’m always so moved when someone takes the time and trouble to write in. Either a comment on the blog, through the contact page, via email or social media.
Bonjour Depression, a recent post about depression, brought in by far the most mail, most of them – understandably – privately. Friends and strangers from around the world got in touch to tell me that it was uplifting to realise their blues weren’t as intense as the mean reds; some to say they now had an understanding of depression that made them more sympathetic than they had been before; and most of all, from fellow sufferers to share their own experiences, as well as the devastation of having the condition so often misunderstood or dismissed.
My heart goes out to all who face this. I hope that as everyone learns to accept it as a medical condition, we stop believing there’s something wrong with us that we can fix on our own, and that we drop the shame.
As much as it’s gratifying to think I’ve written anything that resonates, it thrills me beyond measure when you shed light on how I view life. One of my favourite comments came from Shernaz Italia, who wrote, after reading Making Sense in London:
As someone who has stayed in one place since birth, there are times when the cry wells up deep within “I want to go home”, even while I am at home. Home is a notion, not a place; you will always be at home wherever it is you may roam should your heart be at peace.
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives to read my writing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
Thank you, new friends, for reaching out and introducing yourselves – how glorious to meet kindred spirits from around the world.
Thank you, my beautiful circle of friends and family, for reinforcing existing bonds and inspiring so many of my posts.
My world is much warmer and friendlier now thanks to all of you. Of all the unexpected pleasures of writing a blog, this is by far the sweetest.