My parents are from Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, formerly India, but I was born in England and moved to New York in 2006. So I feel my personal circumstances have been partly determined by the rise and fall of the British Empire.
The name of the blog is inspired by a chapter in Simon Schama‘s A History of Britain in which he explains how the Empire could not have been less pre-ordained or inevitable : “Instead of an empire of farmers and traders the British Empire was, overwhelmingly, an empire of soldiers and slaves ….. The British had gone east to make a little money on the side and ended up, somehow, as the Raj. The footnote had become the main story.”
George Orwell said there are four great motives for writing :
1) sheer egoism;
2) aesthetic enthusiasm;
3) historical impulse;
4) political purpose.
I am not trying to ferret out facts for posterity, or push the world in a certain direction, and am under no illusion that my writing is aesthetically beautiful. So I come to the conclusion that I must be motivated by ego.
I like to read everything from The New Yorker to US Weekly, from Shakespeare to Sophie Kinsella; look at art from Raphael to Olafur Eliasson; watch films and plays and listen to podcasts as I am invariably attached to my iPod while walking the streets of New York City. I like to cook and entertain and work off the calories by practising Muay Thai, a kick-ass martial art with my kick-ass trainer Jonas Serrano.
I may also put down random thoughts on the differences between London and NY, two cities separated by a common language but linked by a special relationship, as well as any other subjects that take my fancy.
So, I shall let my ego get to work.